Yankees: Greg Bird saga hits new low-point after dropped throw
The Yankees were extremely sloppy on the defensive side of the ball on Tuesday night. Greg Bird’s first-inning dropped throw from Ronald Torreyes was the pinnacle of the one-time savior’s now infamous struggles.
You know when people say, well, it can’t get much worse — it usually does? That’s the boat Yankees first baseman Greg Bird now finds himself in.
Bird’s offensive ineptitude this season is well documented. His 0-for-4 on Tuesday makes him 17 for his last 107 (.159 BA) — and hitless in his previous 21 at-bats.
Overall, the 25-year-old Bird is now slashing .196/.284/.384 on the season.
If he had 25 home runs and 60-plus RBIs, maybe he’d get a pass for the dismal batting line, but Bird only has 11 and 35, respectively. And this, in a season that has seen him play in a career-high 74 games and register 255 at-bats.
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On Tuesday night, whatever minuscule amount of hope Yankee fans were holding out for Bird to turn it around, came crashing down.
Lance Lynn had just thrown his seventh pitch of the game, resulting in White Sox leadoff man, Yolmer Sanchez rolling over a weakly hit ground ball to Ronald Torreyes at second base.
With plenty of time to spare, Torres made a good throw to Bird, who stuck his glove in the air for the catch. The problem is, Bird didn’t look the ball in the glove — he certainly didn’t close his glove in time to secure the ball, because immediately, the ball fell to the ground — resulting in a Little League error.
Now to be fair, it was only Bird’s second error on the year — and he wasn’t alone in struggling defensively vs. the White Sox — as Miguel Andujar booted an in-between hopper, Gleyber Torres forgot to cover second base on a cutoff throw and even Brett Gardner bobbled a ball hit into the left-field corner.
However, it is Bird that can ill-afford any mistakes with the glove — not when his bat is on hiatus.
With the scorching Luke Voit DH-ing — tying his career-best hit streak of six games with an eighth-inning single, and Neil Walker coming up clutch with a walk-off home run in the ninth, lifting the Yankees to a 5-4 victory, Greg Bird should now be the third option to man first base for the Yanks.
Of course, this is all contingent on Voit staying strong at the plate and getting Aaron Judge back in the lineup as soon as possible. Manager Aaron Boone has to put his best team out on the field every night, and as of right now (and for most of the season) that doesn’t include Bird.
I completely understand you don’t break out of a slump from the bench, and sitting a guy for an extended period could destroy whatever self-esteem he has left, but the Yankees are entering the final month of regular season play and the Postseason push is officially here.
While Boone continues to reference Bird’s surgeries for his delayed and inconsistent approach at the plate — and Bird, himself, partially blamed a new glove for the inconsequential, yet embarrassing error, it’s time to end the Bird experiment, at least for the remainder of this season.
They’ll be plenty of time before Spring Training to decide if Bird deserves another go-around as the future Yankees first baseman. But for now, play the hot hand that is Luke Voit, and back him up with the versatile Neil Walker.
Greg Bird needs to sit. And if it weren’t for the fact that rosters expand on Sept. 1, both Bird and the club could very well benefit from his demotion to Triple-A.