Earlier this afternoon, the Yankees announced that they placed first baseman Greg Bird on the 10-day disabled list. He will miss time with what’s being described as a right ankle bruise. Rob Refsnyder is scheduled to join the team in his place.
This isn’t a new injury. Bird fouled a ball off his right ankle on March 30th during a spring training game. He attempted to let the bruise heal on its own, but that hasn’t worked out. It was pretty clear that something wasn’t right with Bird. He hit just .100/.250/.200 with one home run across 72 plate appearances. The YES Network booth mentioned his mechanics looked off, and a leg injury can explain that.
According to Bryan Hoch, Bird will be shut down for 7 - 10 days before resuming baseball activities. It’s strange that the Yankees allowed him to play while injured. With the remodeled 10-day disabled list, this type of management is inexcusable. Had he started the season on the shelf, he could possibly be ready to contribute at full health now. This was a mismanaged situation that should be avoided in the future.
As for first base, Chris Carter figures to get an extended run at the position. With Tyler Austin on the 60-day disabled list, he’s the best option at the position. The Yankees could also get creative - Austin Romine has played first before - but that remains to be seen. For now, the smart money is on Carter serving as the everyday first baseman.
Refsnyder, on the other hand, has hit .260/.352/.429 with one home run over 88 plate appearances for Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. He figures to serve as an extra bench player. He could spell first base in pinch; he played a handful of innings there last season. He’s best suited as a utility player, however.
This is a developing story. We’ll have more news as the situation unfolds. In the meantime, this is a good reminder to never let your players take the field injured. That’s especially true when it comes to potential franchise cornerstones.