New York Yankees: Greg Bird Proves He’s Ready to Leave the Past Behind Him

NEW YORK, NY - AUGUST 26: Greg Bird (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - AUGUST 26: Greg Bird (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images) /

It may be only one game, but Greg Bird is already looking the part for the New York Yankees.

Greg Bird played his first game yesterday afternoon after missing close to four months of action due to an ankle injury and looked like he just woke up from a pretty effective power nap.

Upon entering play yesterday, Bird batted a horrid .100 with one HR and three RBI in 19 games. Yankee fans may have been excited to have Greg Bird in the lineup card back in April, but the atmosphere surrounding his return was somewhat more like getting a booster shot: it’s annoying

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and you think you’ll survive without it, but you kind of have no choice.

And rightfully so, Greg Bird was atrocious in the earlier part of the season, to the point where even his work ethic and motivation to play were being questioned.

However, what we saw yesterday was flashes of the same man who batted a team-best .451 in Spring Training.

Bird only went 1-2 with a single, a run scored, and two walks, but what cannot be fully captured through a box score is his plate discipline.

He did not look someone who has not stepped on a major league field since May 1st. He was comfortable and more importantly, confident.

Bird was sitting back on pitches, avoiding the typical rust of returning players attempting to make their impact immediate.

Each of his walks came when he was behind in the count with two strikes, and even his single came on a 3-2 count. Bird remained composed under duress, whereby most players who miss extended time are prone to be leaning in on pitches.

Bird slid well into the No. 6 hole in the lineup yesterday, giving Todd Frazier the benefit of a day off, until coming in to play 3B for Chase Headley in the 9th.

It is still not clear how often we will be seeing Bird on the field as he gets re-acclimated, but it is always a good problem for a manager to have to pick between three productive players to man two corner infield spots: Bird, Frazier, and Headley.

Next: The Return of the Help

In his first 19 games, Greg Bird dug himself a hole, and now it is purely up to him to dig himself out and back into the hearts of Yankee fans.

Yesterday, he took the first step.