Drama continues to surround this Red Sox team.
According to Sean McAdam of CSN New England, second baseman Dustin Pedroia and right-hander Alfredo Aceves got into a “heated argument” on Saturday in the visitors dugout at Oakland’s O.Co Coliseum. It was all verbal, but they eventually had to be separated by third base coach Jerry Royster.
McAdam got the inside scoop after the game:
According to a source, the argument was the result of Aceves attempting to direct the positioning of the infielders. Defensive positioning in the infield is the purview of Royster, who doubles as the team’s infield instructor.
The source added that Pedroia, angry over Aceves’s directions, essentially told the volatile reliever to concentrate on pitching and that the infielders would focus on positioning themselves properly.
Aceves also dropped a pop-up in the previous half-inning after calling off multiple converging infielders. The Red Sox went on to lose the game 7-1 and have now dropped to 10 games below the .500 mark. It’s a mess.
UPDATE, 11:25 AM: MLB.com has video of the argument from the NESN (Red Sox) feed.
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.