By: Billy Lewis
Greg Bird was expected to play a big role for the New York Yankees this season. Bird went on a tear in Spring Training and started the year batting third for the Yankees. Unfortunately, Bird fouled a ball off his foot towards the end of Spring Training and never truly recovered. Bird has proven to be a good hitter when healthy. The problem thus far in Bird’s career has been staying healthy.
He missed the entire 2016 season and had missed the majority of this season. Bird was put on the DL after the May 1st game and was only recently activated off the DL. If Bird is able to stay healthy the rest of the season, I would expect him to have a big September.
Bird gives the Yankees something they have been missing all year, a left handed power bat. Currently, Brett Gardner has the most home runs on the team by a left handed hitter. Gardner’s 20 home runs give him one more than Didi Gregorius. Both Gardner and Gregorius are good hitters in their own right, but neither are true power hitters. Bird has home run potential every time he steps into the batter’s box.
The Yankees just finished a series against the Cleveland Indians. The Yankees were swept, including losing both games of a doubleheader. Bird hit his first home run since returning from the disabled list in the final game against the Indians. That home run did not matter much in the game but could be the spark that gets Bird going.
The Yankees will enter September as the first Wild Card team but have their eyes set on the division title. They begin a critical four game series against the Boston Red Sox that will go a long way in deciding their divisional fate. Getting Greg Bird back should be a welcome site for the Yankees and their fans. If he gets hot, Bird has the potential to carry a lineup. If he is able to replicate what he did in Spring Training, the Yankees just may find themselves as the American League East Champions.