Where was Greg Bird in 2018?
2018 was supposed to be the year for Yankee first basemen Greg Bird. Bird, finally healthy, was set to take over as New York’s first basemen of today and of the future.
Injuries plagued Bird in 2016 and 2017. At the end of the 2017, Bird showcased his potential in October. Bird hit .244 with three home runs in 13 postseason games. The left hander was one of the Bombers most reliable hitters throughout its run in October. One of the most unforgettable moments for the Yankees in 2017 was Bird’s homer off the Indians prolific reliever Andrew Miller.
The Yankees organization and its fans were excited to see what Bird could do over a full season of work. Instead, Bird provided yet another disappointing season for the Yankee faithful. It began with another injury, followed by poor performance, eventually losing the starting first basemen’s job. Bird hit .199, smacking 11 home runs in 311 at-bats over the 2018 season. Luke Voit took over as the Yankees starter as Bird’s performance faltered. Bird did not even earn a spot on the Yankees postseason roster.
The Yankees brought six bench players into the wildcard game against Oakland, Bird not being one of them. He failed to make the American League Division series roster as well.
Bird’s season did not start optimally. He was held out of a spring training game on March 24th due to inflammation in his right foot. A few days later, Bird was set for surgery to remove a bone spur. The recovery timetable was set for 6-8 weeks. The injury was concerning because Bird had surgery on the same ankle the year before.
After returning from the disabled list, Bird was swinging the bat well. He hit .280 in his first six games back. From June 29th to July 29th, Bird hit .286 with six homers in 23 games. This was Bird’s best stretch of the season.
Bird’s successes are lost because of his abysmal performance after his hot streak. Bird fell off a cliff in terms of his production, hitting .135 from August until the end of the season. Bird only appeared in 27 games for the remainder of the season, starting in only three games in September. Bird was finally healthy but was not producing.
In the 2017 and 2018 season, Bird was slated as the Yankees starting first basemen. It was his job to lose, and he did just that. There is a lot of uncertainty entering the 2018 offseason, especially with the emergence of Luke Voit.
Will Bird win a 2019 spring training battle for the reigns to the first basemen job? Or will he end up on the bench, or even Triple A. The 2018-2019 offseason presents a lot of questions the Yankees have to answer, especially in the case of Greg Bird.
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