Greg Bird shrugs shoulder issues away with two homers

After missing the entire 2016 season to a shoulder injury, there were question marks surrounding Greg Bird as he entered camp. 

Those questions marks didn’t last for long after he hit not one, but two home runs against the Boston Red Sox.

“I just try to have quality at-bats, every day, every at-bat,” Bird said following the Yankees 5-4 win over the Red Sox on Tuesday afternoon. “I want to drive the ball to the gaps, and whatever happens after that is out of my hands. I want to swing at strikes, swing at pitches I want to hit and I want to do damage. So we’ll take as many (homers) as we can get.”

Bird also hit two doubles as his first hits of the Spring against the Baltimore Orioles on Monday. However, he was tagged out at third twice due to some poor baserunning.

Bird had no issues going to third on Tuesday.

Manager Joe Girardi, who made the trip to Fort Myers versus watching Masahiro Tanaka in Tampa, was impressed with Bird’s bat.

“He can hit. We just really feel that he can really hit,” Joe Girardi about his first baseman. “We saw it when he came up — lefties didn’t really affect him a whole lot.”

Bird is the favorite to win the first base competition as long as he can leave new acquisition Chris Carter in the dust. Bird was considered the heir to Mark Teixeira since the 2015 season when he made his Major League debut and slugged a .871 OPS.

But during an offseason workout, Bird blew out his shoulder and needed surgery. Bird spent the entire 2016 season rehabbing his shoulder at the Tampa minor league complex.

Now, Bird has a chance to be the heir to Teixeira. And there will be no one to stop him.

“My whole psychological standpoint as far as outlook on the position coming up with (Mark Teixeira in front of me) was I just have to do my job, be very good at what I do and be ready to play — and now more than ever,” Bird said.

“To be completely honest with you, if there’s anything I learned in my first six years, it’s that you can’t control anyone else and that you just have to work hard, become the best player you can each day and kind of let the rest take care of itself, because you don’t know what can happen. That’s kind of my go-to, and that’s what I’m sticking with.”

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11 Responses to Greg Bird shrugs shoulder issues away with two homers

  1. Jerry says:

    A breath of fresh air, that's what Bird is and one of those guys you can't wait to see play again. A lefty with that kind of pop at Yankee stadium bodes well for us. Capable of hitting 30 plus home runs and a decent average, maybe.280 or better. We'll see how he progresses as a first baseman. Hard worker, who will work at his craft and have a good glove. A mainstay at first for the next 10 plus years.

  2. Terry says:

    Love this kid!! Great young man, great talent. Everything you could ask for in a player. Can't wait to see how well he does this year. He'll still have some rust early on but you can see that bat and how it can be a force at the Stadium

  3. buckeyeballs says:

    i hope they dont platoon him with carter but im afraid they will

    • Jerry says:

      I'm concerned about that also, somehow hopefully Girardi figures it out. Between some outfield, 1B and DH, they can spread the at bats. Give Gardner some rest.

      • buckeyeballs says:

        agree maybe between gardy elsbury and bird they can rotate resting versus lefties-but hicks will get most of those at bats

  4. Dan M says:

    Nice to see Bird back and making an early impression in spring training. I personally was never worried about his shoulder, Brian McCann had the same injury and surgery back when he was with the Braves, he came back had really good last season with the Braves and as we all know he then got $85 million from the Yankees. Only thing I want to see now from Bird is that he works on his defense at 1B. We got very comfortable as Yankee fans over the last 8 seasons with Tex at first and even when he didn't hit well Tex's impact was all ways felt because he was great with his glove. Bird is far from Tex when it comes to skills at playing 1B but if Bird can be half the first baseman Tex was then I'd be fine with that.

  5. ERIC PELLIS says:

    The last thing I worry about is his defense. I saw enough of him in 2015 to realize that his defense will not be an issue at all. As I have been saying all winter, just leave him alone and let him play everyday and we will have an all-star 1st baseman foe the foreseeable future.

  6. RANDY says:


  7. Neill says:

    LET'S continue to follow the commitment that the hierecy has pledged to the youth movement starting with Bird next Judge,Frazier,Fowler,Toreyes our next core to bring us our next(28th) world championship and going forward to the 30 something of championship.

  8. WyomingGrizFan says:

    That Billy McKinney as appeared impressively, as well.

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