New York Yankees: Who’s on first for the Yanks? It’s up in the Air

Greg Bird, New York Yankees. (Photo by David Maxwell/Getty Images)
Greg Bird, New York Yankees. (Photo by David Maxwell/Getty Images) /
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New York Yankees
New York Yankees /

Greg Bird, New York Yankees. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

Greg Bird

Bird is the word. If there is a favorite in this competition, it’s him. Yankees nation has been tantalized by Greg Bird’s abilities since 2015. That year he came up from the minors to spell an ailing Mark Teixeira and took off. In 46 games and 157 at-bats, Bird jacked 11 home runs with 39 RBI. Multiplied out to full season, he was on a 40 dingers, 150 RBI pace.

It wasn’t just his power, Bird hit a respectable .261. A first baseman who’s a good fielder (only three errors in 166 career games), hits .260 with 40 homers and can drive in runs is a keeper for any team. Unfortunately for him its been a downhill course ever since.

He missed the entire 2016 season when he had surgery to repair a torn labrum in early February. That was the beginning. He’s been plagued by injuries and inconsistency ever since. Last year he set a career high with 272 at-bats. Yet, like the previous season, he failed to break the Mendoza line finishing with batting averages of .190 (2017), and .199 (2018).

In this era of free swingers, Bird is turning into the poster boy. He has had more strikeouts than hits in every Major League season. Over 576 career at-bats, Bird has 123 hits and 173 strikeouts. That’s a .214 batting average and a .300 strikeout average. He gets punched out in three of every ten at-bats.

The question Boone needs to answer quickly is which Greg Bird does he get in 2019? The one who can hit .250 or so and drive in runs. Or was that a fluke and what’s left is an often injured, sub-Mendoza, strikeout machine.