Bird is the word. That’s all we’ve heard ever since Greg Bird was called up to the Yankees roster in 2015. He tore the cover off the ball early on in his rookie season. But then it happened — the first injury that would derail his career.
I’ll admit, I was all aboard the Greg Bird hype train. He was the future Yankees first baseman, taking over the reins from Mark Teixeira.
However, four years have gone by, and I can’t look past the injuries. He isn’t the same player. Trips to injured list keep piling up, his defense is horrendous, and he seems completely lost at the plate.
There are still momentary slivers of hope at the plate — he has had hot streaks giving Yanks fans glimmers that one day he may return to the Bird of old. But how much longer can the Bombers wait?
Bird had a solid Spring Training and is still in a battle with Luke Voit, who was acquired last season from the St. Louis Cardinals. But all bias aside, Bird doesn’t have what it takes to play in New York anymore.
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An abysmal start to this season has left many confused as to why he’s still playing, following a few 0-for-3 strikeout games — and going 0-for-4 with four strikeouts April 4 against the Houston Astros.
Injuries are inevitable in sports. Bird has had the unfortunate task of coming back from numerous occurrences rather than playing. It’s hard to perform to the best of your ability when you’re continually trying to better your health. That’s where Bird has suffered.
But even through all the injuries, my biggest gripe with Bird is his defense. He looks like a lost puppy when trying to pick up grounders at first base. First base is a lot harder than people think. But you would have thought Bird would have improved a little throughout his brief time in the majors.
The Yankees should look at trading Bird at some point this season to help bolster their injury-ravaged roster and depleted rotation. Bird’s still young enough that teams could still be interested in him for a back-end of the rotation type pitcher.
Bird’s time as a Yankee is coming to a close sooner than people think. Shaky defense and inconsistent production at the plate are the ultimate cause for his inevitable departure. But the injuries have no doubt put an asterisk to what could have been a stellar career.