Greg Bird missed most of 2017 with an ankle injury, but returned to post an .891 OPS and eight homers in 29 games to close out the regular season, and he then led the Yankees in OPS during an extended postseason run. He fouled a ball off his ankle late in spring training and played through it for a month, but his performance suffered greatly and Bird ultimately wound up on the DL. At one point, Bird's season was feared to be over as there was talk of exploratory surgery. This came after Bird missed all of 2016 due to shoulder issues; the injury history is getting long for a player who just turned 24 years old this winter. It's easy to see the talent when Bird is on the diamond -- he can take a walk and his strikeout rate is very manageable given the power -- but until he shows he can stay on the field and perform over the course of a full season, there will be doubters.
Bird is seen as an "impact middle of the order hitter" by manager Aaron Boone, Erik Boland of Newsday reports. Bird hit just .190/.288/.422 in 48 games for the Yankees last year, in a season where he battled injuries and a very unlucky .194 BABIP. Boone expects Bird to hit in the heart of the order when healthy, which could boost his run and RBI totals. As a left-handed hitter, Bird could find himself hitting somewhere in the middle of the Yankees' big right-handed bats, Giancarlo Stanton, Aaron Judge and Gary Sanchez. We'll likely get a better sense of Boone's plans once the Grapefruit League begins.
Bird is out of the lineup for Sunday's matchup against Toronto. Bird has started four consecutive games and managed to collect at least one hit in each outing. However the Yankees are facing the left-handed Brett Anderson on Sunday, so Chase Headley will start at first base in his place.
Bird is out of the lineup for Tuesday's game against the Rays, Meredith Marakovits of YES Network reports. The Yankees will deploy a right-handed heavy lineup with lefty Blake Snell toeing the rubber for the opposition, so Bird will head to the bench despite going 1-for-4 with a two-run homer Monday. In his place, Chase Headley will start at first base and bat fifth.
Bird went 1-for-4 with a three-run homer Saturday against the Blue Jays. Bird smashed his sixth home run of the season to give the Yankees a fifth-inning lead they'd never relinquish. Unfortunately, it was his first home run of the month, and across the board, his numbers haven't provided much use to fantasy managers.
Bird went 1-for-4 with a three-run homer Saturday against the Orioles. Bird crushed his fifth bomb of the season to extend the Yankees lead to six runs in a winning effort. Although he's homered in back-to-back contests, he's struggled at the plate for most of September, and unless fantasy owners believe he's ready to go on a major hot streak, he'll be difficult to place in lineups with confidence.