Yankees’ ace, medical staff at odds over timing of injury

The Associated Press

NEW YORK — New York Yankees ace Luis Severino says he hurt his lat muscle warming up before his first scheduled spring training start March 5, though New York’s medical staff did not diagnose the injury until April.

When Severino first got hurt, the Yankees said the injury was right shoulder inflammation. After Severino threw on flat ground April 6 and felt like he had not progressed, the Yankees sent him for additional tests and announced the injury to the latissimus dorsi muscle in his back April 9.

General manager Brian Cashman said last week he didn’t know “how a lat strain during his rehab process could have occurred.” Severino maintains the issue predated the rehab.

“I know something was going on,” Severino said Wednesday.

New York’s updated timetable from last week estimated Severino could resume throwing around May 21.

Red Sox lose Pedroia

BOSTON — The Boston Red Sox have placed second baseman Dustin Pedroia on the 10-day injured list with left knee irritation.

The 35-year-old Pedroia started the season on the injured list with inflammation in his left knee. He was reinstated April 9 and appeared in four games with Boston, making four starts at second base and two as a designated hitter and going 2 for 20 (.100) with a walk, an RBI and a run scored.

To fill Pedroia’s spot, Boston is recalling right-handed pitcher Marcus Walden from Triple-A Pawtucket ahead of Friday’s game against the Tampa Bay Rays.

Walden has appeared in five games this season. The right-hander is 2-0 with a 3.38 ERA. In 13 major league appearances with Boston, Walden is 2-0 with one save and a 3.57 ERA.

Athletics keeping Khris

OAKLAND, Calif. — At spring training, Khris Davis expressed his desire to stay with the Oakland Athletics on a long-term contract for the next several seasons. He wants to build something special in the East Bay, while keeping up his remarkable home run pace.

Davis now has the new deal he so wanted, after patiently waiting for it to get done.

Davis’ contract, announced by the team Thursday, takes him through the 2021 season. The deal adds $33.75 million for 2020 and ’21, which increased Davis’ guarantee to $50.25 million over three years, a person familiar with the agreement told The Associated Press. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because contract terms had not been announced.

Davis hit a majors-best 48 home runs last season while setting a career high with 123 RBIs, helping send the 97-win A’s back to the playoffs for the first time in four years. He is leading the majors again with 10 home runs so far this season and is batting .260 with 20 RBIs.

He agreed in January to a $16.5 million, one-year contract and would have been eligible for free agency after this season.

Oakland general manager David Forst had said since last season ended that signing Davis long-term was a top priority.

Davis, who wasn’t immediately reached for comment Thursday, was fine with that. Oakland had Thursday off and Davis was scheduled to hold a news conference Friday at the Coliseum.

Price unhappy with MLB

NEW YORK — Boston Red Sox pitcher David Price thinks Major League Baseball made a mistake by having just 10 games Monday on Jackie Robinson Day.

“Hey @mlb every year on April 15th we celebrate Jackie Robinson Day,” Price tweeted Wednesday. “EVERYONE plays on that day next year deal? No one should have an off day let alone 10 teams!!”

African American players dropped from 18 percent of the majors leagues in 1991 to 7.7 percent in 2017, then rose to 8.4 percent in 2018, according to The Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sport at Central Florida. Price, who won the 2012 AL Cy Young Award, thinks more efforts on Jackie Robinson Day are needed.

Jackie Robinson broke the major league color barrier for the Brooklyn Dodgers on April 15, 1947.

“1/3 of @mlb teams had an off day on Jackie Robinson day,” tweeted Price, who is black. “I just can’t wrap my head around that. We’ve had a problem for a while and this couldn’t make it any more noticeable.”

This year, April 15 fell on a Monday. Most teams’ scheduled off days are on Mondays and Thursdays.

Bird flying north

ARLINGTON, Texas — The Texas Rangers have optioned left-hander Kyle Bird to Triple-A Nashville after his second stint in the majors this season.

A rookie, Bird has a 6.75 ERA with a save in five relief appearances for the Rangers in his first big league action.

Texas will make a corresponding move before Friday’s series opener against Houston to fill Bird’s spot on the 25-man roster. The Rangers were off Thursday after sweeping a three-game series against the Los Angeles Angels.

The Rangers got Bird from the Tampa Bay Rays during the offseason as part of a three-team deal that sent infielder Jurickson Profar to Oakland.