Greg Bird can’t seem to catch a break. The Yankees were expecting big things of him this year, but the first baseman will start the season on the disabled list once again. After undergoing tests on an inflamed right foot, it was determined that he would need surgery to remove a bone spur in his right ankle. Bird will ultimately be out 6-8 weeks before returning to game action.
If you’re thinking this is deja vu all over again with him, it might be. Bird dealt with a foot injury last spring and a shoulder injury the year before that, both of which required surgery to heal. Now with a third surgery in three years, you have to wonder how durable he truly is in regards to getting through an entire season. Claims that he is the next Nick Johnson are a little premature, but we’re getting to a point where you have to wonder what his future holds.
Another tough break for Bird who will start the season on the DL. Tyler Austin and Neil Walker are immediate options, maybe another to follow. pic.twitter.com/xMI9HV76hs— Sweeny Murti (@YankeesWFAN) March 26, 2018
He hit just .154/.267/.231 this spring, so you have to wonder how healthy he was since reporting to camp. The good news is that we know he can hit when he’s healthy. After missing most of 2017, he managed to club nine home runs in 48 games. He also hit another three in the postseason. If the team can get him on the field by June, hopefully he will be able to make up for lost time.
At this point, the Yankees need to look at who they have around them who can fill in for the time being. The easy choice to make is Tyler Austin, since he’s already on the roster and had a solid spring training. Guys like Neil Walker and Brandon Drury could also be of use in the meantime. We will have to see how much the Yankees screwed up not finding a more legitimate Plan B for Bird, given his extensive injury history at this point.