New York Yankees: Greg Bird Continue To Dominate, Position Battle Tightens

New York Yankees, Greg Bird

With both New York Yankees’ Luke Voit and Greg Bird dominating spring training, the first base position battle has gotten even tighter in recent days. On Wednesday, Bird launched a three-run blast to center field, dragging both Miguel Andujar and Gleyber Torres across the plate.

Voit finished the day 0-1 with a strikeout after showcasing his impressive power in prior games. The two first baseman have come out of the gate firing, but it’s often against lesser pitchers in meaningless games. The regular season offers a whole different challenge, and maintaining consistency will be the key to success.

Voit will undoubtedly earn the starting reps to start 2019, but if Bird can continue his success at the plate he could earn playing time as well.

The New York Yankees need to weigh the pros and cons:

The biggest question revolves around their defense, as Bird has proven to be a more natural first baseman over Voit. Last season, Bird conceded two errors in 74 games of play while Voit also had two in 32 games. This clearly indicates who the better defender is, and it gives Bird a glimpse of hope after struggling through two seasons of sub .200 batting.

What should manager Aaron Boone do?

Boone has an interesting situation on his hands – he has two players that seem to be motivated to earn the starting job. One of them hit .333 with the Yankees last year and played a significant part in making it to the ALDS. The other hit .199 and could barely stand in the batter’s box long enough to enjoy the view.

We know what he’s going to do at the start of the season, but it’s what happens after that sparks a thought. The efficient thing to do would be to utilize Bird as a rotational piece to keep Voit healthy, giving him opportunities to showcase his abilities sparingly.

This method would give Voit the reps he deserves but also keep Bird relevant and active in case an injury arises. Another idea would be to play the hot hand. Start Voit as expected and slip Bird in there every few games to see if he can catch a hot streak. Either way, both players will see starting time, but it’s a matter of who can show the most when swinging the bat.