Mark Teixeira destroys Bobby Wilson

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BobbyWilsonTeixeira.jpgAngels catcher Bobby Wilson, who was making his first major league start on Friday, was forced to leave the game after being barreled over by Mark Teixeira while trying to block the plate in the third inning.

According to Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times, Wilson was diagnosed with a left ankle sprain and a concussion. He was taken to an area hospital for a CT scan and X-rays.

Following the game, Teixeira expressed regret for the incident:

“I feel terrible. It makes me sick,” Teixeira said. “You never want to
hurt a guy. I was going to slide, but as soon as I saw him learning toward
me, I thought, ‘OK, he’s got the ball, I’ve got to knock it loose.’
Every time I’m in that position I try to protect myself by lowering my
shoulder.”

Upon first glance, it doesn’t appear that the collision was necessary, but with repeated viewings you’ll see that Teixeira didn’t even recognize that the ball had ricocheted away from Wilson. Even Angels manager and former catcher
Mike Scioscia called it “a clean play.” Some Angels’ players disagree, including Torii Hunter, who said Teixeira appeared to be “on a mission,” but I really think you have to give him the benefit of the doubt here.

Blue Jays release John Axford

John Axford
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The Blue Jays have released right-handed reliever John Axford from his minor league contract, per an announcement on Saturday. Sportsnet’s Shi Davidi speculates that the move could provide an avenue for the club to rework Axford’s contract, but the Blue Jays have yet to confirm or deny the report.

Axford, 35, was dealt a blow on Thursday after getting diagnosed with a stress reaction in the olecranon bone of his right elbow. Elbow soreness dogged the right-hander through much of his time in camp, and although he was scheduled for a follow-up examination later this spring, a definite return date had not been established.

Prior to the diagnosis, Axford was tabbed for a setup role with the team in 2019. He pitched to mixed results in 2018 (thanks in part to a late-season fracture of his right fibula) with a 5.27 ERA, 4.9 BB/9, and 9.8 SO/9 through 54 2/3 innings with the Blue Jays and Dodgers. Now, however, it’s not certain that he’ll return to the mound this season in any capacity.

Axford isn’t the only reliever the Blue Jays have lost to injury lately, either, as right-handers Ryan Tepera and Bud Norris have been sidelined with right elbow inflammation and forearm fatigue, respectively. Per Davidi, the Blue Jays offered Norris a $100,000 retention bonus to prevent him from opting out of the minor league contract he signed in February.