A look at what’s happen around the majors Saturday:
The Yankees plan to activate first baseman Greg Bird from the DL before a game against the Angels, forcing New York to make a difficult roster decision. Bird has been sidelined since having right ankle surgery on March 27. New York likely will decide whether to cut from eight relief pitchers to seven or option Tyler Austin to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre despite his strong performance in Bird’s absence.
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Boston is moving on without slugger Hanley Ramirez after designating him for assignment Friday to clear space for Dustin Pedroia to come off the DL. The Red Sox are responsible for the $15.25 million remaining on Ramirez’s contract, but avoided triggering a $22 million salary for 2019 by cutting him loose. The move clears the way for Mitch Moreland to be the team’s everyday first baseman, with J.D. Martinez a regular at DH and Blake Swihart picking up at-bats as a platoon partner at first base, catcher and DH. Pedroia is expected to make his first start of 2018 in a game against Atlanta.
Denard Span and Alex Colome are expected to arrive in Seattle after the Mariners acquired them from Tampa Bay in the season’s first major trade Friday. Span will hold down left field regularly with Guillermo Heredia sliding to center and Dee Gordon taking over at second base for suspended star Robinson Cano. Colome led the major leagues with 47 saves last season and will help solidify a bullpen that’s been relied on heavily early in the season. Seattle is set to continue a series against Minnesota.
Sean Newcomb, born in Massachusetts and raised about 45 miles from Fenway Park, returns with the Atlanta Braves to pitch against Boston. The 24-year-old lefty, a 2014 first-round draft pick by the Angels out of the University of Hartford, is 5-1 with a 2.39 ERA. He’s won all four starts this month, allowing only one run and nine hits in 25 innings. Newcomb is 5-0 in eight outings since losing his first game of the season on April 2. Drew Pomeranz (1-2, 5.97) goes for the Red Sox.
Bartolo Colon makes his first start since turning 45 on Thursday when the Texas Rangers take on Kansas City. Pitching for his 11th major league team, the portly Colon (2-2, 3.51 ERA) is the oldest active player in the majors. His teammates honored him before Thursday’s game, and his face ended up in the birthday cake during the celebration. Big Sexy has 242 career wins and needs one more to match Hall of Famer Juan Marichal for the most by a pitcher from the Dominican Republic.
BARRIA IS BACK
Angels rookie Jaime Barria has yet to allow more than two runs in any of his five career starts, a streak the 21-year-old will test against New York at Yankee Stadium. Barria pitched one-run ball for seven innings against Houston in his last start but got a no-decision in a 5-3 loss, then was optioned briefly back to Triple-A. He’ll oppose RHP Sonny Gray (3-3, 5.48), who is coming off eight dominant innings against Kansas City in his previous start.
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