New York Yankees: Bird's Wings Get Clipped Again

27 March, 2018, 06:18 | Author: Felix Jensen
  • New York Yankees Gary Sanchez

BC-BBA-Yankees-Bird, 2nd Ld-Writethru, 782Yanks' Greg Bird needs ankle surgery again, out 6-8 weeksAP Photo NY176Eds: Updates with comments from Boone, Austin, additional details. The goal is to have him back by late May or early June, but the Yankees should be prepared for worse. Neil Walker also could shift over from second base to first.

Austin says that he's confident that he and Walker, a veteran switch-hitter who signed with the Phillies on March 12, will fill in well at first for Bird. He hit.227 with four homers in spring training.

Despite this news, the Yankees should be fine in his absence.

Bird injured the same ankle in the final spring training game before the 2017 season. Lind, who batted.303 with an.875 OPS for the Nationals last season, remains a free agent.

So with what seemed to be a player with all the injury kinks behind him, 2018 looked to be the year of opportunity.

Bird returned August 26 and hit.253 with eight homers and 25 RBIs in 29 games, then batted.241 three homers and six RBIs in 13 playoff games. And in 2010, his first attempt at immortalizing a Curtis Granderson home run - he sang "Curtis, you're something sorta grandish!", a line from a song from "Finian's Rainbow", a 70-year-old Broadway show - was replaced by the more accessible "The Grandy Man Can!"

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The Yankees open the season on Thursday in Toronto.

If Walker and Austin can't get the job done, the Yankees have a few other in-house options, though they're not as desirable.

The Yankees haven't had a regular first baseman since Mark Teixeira left following the 2016 season. "I tried to get it".

So there's no need to go outside the organization just yet. Walker's bat may not have as much upside as Bird's, but it should be good enough to hold them over until June if it takes Bird that long to return.

Still, they hope this one doesn't last almost as long.

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