Last season it wasn’t an issue because at least one player was always hurt, but this season the Dodgers have four very good outfielders for three starting spots with Yasiel Puig, Matt Kemp, Carl Crawford, and Andre Ethier.
That means at least one of them is on the bench each game and it also means Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times asked general manager Ned Colletti if he plans to trade an outfielder:
It’s a situation we’re going to have to deal with. But we’re always going to be one injury away from not having to deal with it. It gives everybody a chance to take a breath, get a day. Everybody likes to play, but I think it’s sometimes beneficial to take a day.
Complicating things is that the guys the Dodgers might actually want to trade–read: not Puig–all have huge contracts that teams likely won’t be lining up to take on. And of course the Dodgers probably care less about dumping big contracts than any other team, so having too many good outfielders is a nice problem to have. For now at least.
Oh, and their fifth outfielder, Scott Van Slyke, is making the minimum salary while producing a .974 OPS in a part-time role.
Yankees first baseman Greg Bird gave his team tons of confidence to hand him the everyday job at first base to start the 2017 regular season, batting .451/.556/1.098 with eight home runs in 51 spring at-bats. But he’s followed that up by hitting .107/.254/.214 through the first month of the regular season.
GM Brian Cashman doesn’t have any intent to demote Bird back to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, MLB.com’s Bryan Hoch reports. Cashman said, “It’s not even an option for me in my mind right now, at all.”
Bird didn’t start Sunday’s game against the Orioles, a 7-4 loss in 11 innings. Lefty Wade Miley started for the Orioles, prompting manager Joe Girardi to put Chris Carter into the lineup at first base. If Bird isn’t able to figure things out, Carter might have an increased role on the team.
Rays starter Chris Archer threw his first pitch to Blue Jays outfielder Jose Bautista behind the slugger’s back with one out in the first inning of Sunday afternoon’s game in Toronto. Bautista and Archer then had a staredown. Home plate umpire Jim Wolf issued warnings to both teams. Bautista ultimately flied out to right field and he appeared to have a quick word with Archer on his way back to the dugout.
Archer could have been exacting revenge — euphemistically known as “protecting his teammate” — because Jays reliever Joe Biagini hit Rays outfielder Steven Souza in the seventh inning of Saturday’s game. Souza was forced to leave the game and underwent an X-ray, which came back negative. He was held out of Sunday’s lineup. Biagini’s pitch did not appear to be intentional.
The Jays won Sunday’s contest 3-1 with no further incident. The two clubs meet again in Tampa for a three-game series starting on May 5, so we’ll see if Sunday was the last of the bad blood between them.