TAMPA — Here we go again.
Greg Bird was scratched from the Yankees’ split-squad lineup against the Braves in Lake Buena Vista due to a sore right foot.
Bird was seen by the team’s medical personnel on Saturday — including Dr. Daniel Murphy. The CT scan and MRI revealed right foot inflammation. Bird will be further evaluated by a foot specialist in New York on Monday,
“I’m worried about it, to he honest,” GM Brian Cashman said, “because I’m not sure what we’re dealing with.”
Bird first mentioned feeling discomfort toward the end of Friday’s game.
The 25-year-old first baseman has been prone to injuries during his short career, having played just 94 total regular-season games in the majors as a result.
Bird missed the entire 2016 season due to a shoulder injury.
Last season, he was ultimately forced to undergo right ankle surgery in mid-July after fouling a ball off his ankle in the final game of spring training.
At the time, it appeared Bird would only require a short DL stint. But he was limited to only 48 games in 2017. Bird did post a .938 OPS with three homers in the playoffs.
The Bombers have some insurance for Bird at first if he does need to miss time, including Neil Walker and Brandon Drury (minor-league experience at the position).
Miguel Andujar is also being introduced to first in the minors. Tyler Austin, who was just demoted, can play first as well.
Adam Lind was in camp for a brief period as Bird insurance until the team signed Walker to a one-year, $ 4 million deal.
Bird had been hitting just .154 this spring but the team was encouraged by his recent at-bats after he made some adjustments with hitting coach Marcus Thames. Aaron Boone has raved about his plate discipline, and scouts expected 30 or more homers if Bird could stay healthy.
Last season, the Yankees used Chris Carter, Chase Headley, Garrett Cooper, Matt Holliday, Austin, Rob Refsnyder, Austin Romine and Ji-Man Choi at first in Bird’s absence.
The Bombers have been expecting a breakout year from Bird — who could hit third between Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton depending on matchups.
Now, if Bird is out, Didi Gregorius could fill that No. 3 spot, or the Yankees could go with Judge and Stanton back-to-back, which would guarantee they’d hit in the first inning.
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