Greg Bird has to prove he belongs at first base

When the Yankees signed Chris Carter to a one-year, $3 Million contract, many wondered what it would mean for Greg Bird and Tyler Austin.

For Bird, it means he has to prove that he belongs at first base when the season begins in April.

Bird, who missed the entire 2016 season with a shoulder injury, is expected to get a bulk of the playing time at first base while Carter plays against LHP. If Bird is still hurting from his shoulder injury, Carter could find himself getting more playing time.

However, Bird said that his shoulder feels “great”, but knows he has to deal with questions until he’s able to prove his swing is back to form.

“I missed a whole year,” Bird said to the media on Wednesday afternoon. “I have to prove to them that I can play again and play at a high level and be a quality part of the team.”

Bird hit 11 home runs when he was called up in August 2015, but had a disappointing Arizona Fall League when he hit one homer in 65 at-bats.

The Yankees still see Bird as an integral part of the youth movement, and they’d like to see his power return this season.

Two years ago, the Yankees saw Bird as insurance for the frequently injured Mark Teixeira. Now with Teixeira retired, the Yankees will rely on Bird even more. They just hope Bird’s injury doesn’t flare up during the season.

“I would say long. It was 12 months, but it felt like two years,” Bird said. “It was a long time, but this is what I was preparing for. I’m excited to get back to playing, get back into a baseball atmosphere.”


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3 Responses to Greg Bird has to prove he belongs at first base

  1. Terry says:

    I think we all saw the same thing when he came up. If he's healthy,he's the starter. We need his production from the left side and he's a solid defender. As for platooning him, we committed to Didi and getting him over his LH pitching struggles. The same should apply here. That short compact power stroke and the short porch at The Stadium. I think he has a huge future for us

    • Jerry says:

      I agree with you Terry, and I think the same with Judge, but even more so with Bird, Bird has already had a couple of great months, where he looked like a potential stud. I know he's recovering from surgery so I understand the concern. But if Bird is healthy put him at First and leave him alone, we might ultimately have a 40 home run output from this guy and that only happens when you play against lefties and righties. The Yankees need to stick to their guns and ride out the bumps. We need to find out and this is the year to do it. Same with Judge, just play him and show the same patience they showed for Hicks.

  2. ERIC PELLIS says:

    Patience? Do the Yankees have it or not. We will know a lot more how serious they are about rebuilding the right way with how they handle the Greg Bird situation. I agree with Terry on keeping him in the lineup even if he struggles early. The only way to shake off the rust anD to develop properly is to play every day. This kid is going to be a stud and the Yanks need a long leash with him.

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