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Collin McHugh to be shut down for six weeks with elbow impingement

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Astros’ right-hander Collin McHugh has been shut down for six weeks, the team announced on Saturday. McHugh was diagnosed with posterior impingement in his right elbow, though the MRI did not reveal structural damage indicative of a UCL tear.

The veteran righty landed on the 10-day disabled list last Sunday with right shoulder tendonitis and was scheduled to make a rehab start in Triple-A Fresno. He pitched through one inning before exiting the game with elbow and biceps tightness and flew back to Houston to undergo further evaluation. He’ll be re-evaluated after six weeks and likely won’t be cleared to return to the mound until mid- to late May at the earliest.

Prior to his setback this spring, McHugh worked a 4.34 ERA, 2.6 BB/9 and 8.6 SO/9 over 184 2/3 innings with the Astros. The club is expected to utilize right-handers Joe Musgrove and Mike Fiers in the back end of their rotation until McHugh’s return.

Yankees GM Brian Cashman not considering demoting struggling Greg Bird

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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.

Chris Archer threw behind Jose Bautista

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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.