Bird spent Spring Training scaring the bejeezus out of opposing pitchers. And exciting Yankees’ fans that the best three-hitter in the game was going to start the season in pinstripes.
But unbeknownst at the time, Bird broke a superfluous bone in his ankle at the end of March. The injury limited his innate ability and Bird spent April struggling. In common parlance, he sucked big time.
And worse, he has had little opportunity to improve. In only 126 AB’s, Greg has slashed just .167/.269/.349 with six home runs, five doubles and 21 RBI’s. Had he been healthy, his numbers project to 30 HR and 100 RBIs.
There is still time for the worm to turn for Bird. He looks better and is hitting for extra bases. But as of this moment, .167 has to be disappointing even for Greg. I’m sure it is for the Yankees.
The Yankees signed Carter in case anything happened to Bird. They hoped his power would offset his low average; it didn’t. When called upon to play, he was able to muster just a .201/.284/.370 slash. That might have been okay if he had hit more than eight home runs and five doubles.
Because he was signed as a back-up, Chris could never win this award. But he needs to be mentioned because of how much playing time he received at first base (184 ABs).