New York Yankees: How Concerned Should We Be About Luis Severino’s Injury?

On Monday, the New York Yankees presumed ace Luis Severino was scratched from his first spring start due to what the team called “rotator cuff inflammation” and will be shut down for two weeks. Yankees skipper Aaron Boone said that it is “highly unlikely” that Severino will start the season with the team, forcing the Yankees to look for a new opening day starter. Severino was warming up in the bullpen and felt pain in his shoulder at about 1PM, 10 minutes prior to first pitch.

With Severino likely not on the 25 man roster to start the season, this leaves the fifth starting pitcher position wide open. Plus, how severe is Severino’s injury anyway? We’ll look into all of it right now.

Yankees: Severino’s concern level

From what we hear, the Yankees are not particularly concerned about Severino…. yet. When he had his MRI Tuesday, the results came back quite clean. With that being said, he should be cleared after two weeks if his shoulder isn’t hurting. No Tommy John surgery has been recommended, but if he continues to have pain after the two weeks, the team will grow more concerned.

The plan is to begin a throwing program after the two weeks, then get him some in-game action before camp breaks and the team heads to Washington for an exhibition. My guess is that he would spend a week or two in extended spring training before going to Trenton and/or Scranton for a few rehab stints. Remember, CC Sabathia is also a few weeks behind due to his offseason heart surgery and will also likely not be on the opening day roster.

Options from free agency

When talking about free-agents, two names come into the minds of Yankees fans: Dallas Keuchel and Gio Gonzalez.

In 2018, Dallas Keuchel had a rather down season, his ERA at 3.74 in just over 200 innings. A lot of people thought that the Yankees might push towards him more than signing JA Happ or acquiring James Paxton. But the team didn’t and now heading towards the middle part of March and spring training, he remains a free-agent.

Gio Gonzalez had an ERA last season of 4.21, but remained effective with a 10-11 record in just over 170 innings. Gonzalez, now 33, was a former first round draft pick in 2004. He could still be a fit for any team, and his stats show those of an average fifth starter.

But which one is the better option? In my opinion, Gonzalez is. Gonzalez is older than Keuchel and is now fit to be a five starter, and will not want a whole lot of money. Keuchel was the Astros number one starter just a few years ago, but is now settling as more of a two or three starter.

If Keuchel was available after the 2019 season, the Yankees would jump right on board with him, but they have a solid rotation when healthy. Signing Keuchel would be expensive, and would force the Yankees to really rearrange their pitching staff once everyone is healthy. With Gonzalez, you can DFA or release him and not lose much of anything for your team or salary.

In-house options

The Yankees have a few guys who could replace both Severino and CC in the first few weeks of the season.

Luis Cessa is the first name Yankee fans jump to. Cessa hasn’t had it that great so far in the big leagues, an ERA a bit under five and a 5-11 record. He is slowly improving, but the problem is that he’s out of options. If he starts in the MLB this season, to send him to Scranton they must DFA him and hope he clears waivers.

Domingo German struggled last year for the Yankees, making some starts for injured pitchers in the springtime. His ERA was over 5.50 and won just two games in 14 starts. But his start this spring has been promising, giving up no runs thus far in 4 2/3 innings.

Jonathan Loaisiga, or “Jonny Lasagna” also made a few starts last season, but had an ERA over five despite going 2-0. He definitely needs some more work, and got hammered on Tuesday against the Cardinals, giving up four runs in 2 1/3 innings.

It remains unknown how the Yankees will fill Severino’s hole to start the season, but either way the team goes, there are options.

New York Yankees: Masahiro Tanaka Dominant in Spring Debut

New York Yankees, Masahiro Tanaka

New York Yankees starting pitcher Masahiro Tanaka had is spring debut on Sunday at home against the Tigers, and boy he sure looked good.

In the first inning, Tigers centerfielder Daz Cameron rocketed a double deep into center field, but Tanaka stranded him on third by striking out the next two batters and forcing a fly out to center for the third out.

Tanaka’s second inning was flawless, working three groundouts to the left side, two of them to Miguel Andujar at third. The first one, Andujar took a few steps right to field a backhanded, hard-hit ground ball, and threw a two-hopper to first. The second was a routine ground ball that he put away with ease.

The third inning was just as good for Tanaka, getting the leadoff hitter to groundout to Kyle Holder at short, then two easy flyouts to Estevan Florial in center.

His final stat line: three innings, one hit, two strikeouts, and one runner stranded at third.

He also got a little run support in the first two innings, Brett Gardner hit two homeruns to right field for his first two hits of the spring, Aaron Judge lined his first homerun of the spring to right, and Gary Sanchez hit a screamer down the left field line that barely stayed fair.

Yankees feature two squads in two-game Sunday:

The Yankees are actually playing as a split squad today, the other team is playing the Toronto Blue Jays in Dunedin. Luke Voit is leading the way down there with a solo homerun, making the fight for first base even more interesting.

New York Yankees: Can Gleyber Torres and Miguel Andujar avoid the “sophomore slump”?

New York Yankees, Gleyber Toress, Miguel Andujar

In 2018, New York Yankees youth products Gleyber Torres and Miguel Andujar burst out into the scene in New York with Tyler Wade struggling and newly acquired Brandon Drury injured.

Once they came, they made immediate impacts including multiple walk-off hits and big home-runs. Both players had WAR’s over 2.0. Many baseball fans always worry about the dreaded “sophomore slump” that many players go through after a successful first season in the big leagues.

With Didi Gregorius out with an injury, the Yankees are relying on Torres and Andujar to pick up the slack on both the offensive and defensive end.

So many extra-base hits for the Yankees:

Combined between Torres and Andujar, the two had a total of 95 extra-base hits last season. Miguel Andujar brought more power between the two, but Torres could put one out or get a double when he needed to.  In 2018, Andujar tied the record for most doubles by a rookie in the American League with 47.

As he continued to go through the season, people began to compare him to Manny Machado who early in his career had a lot of doubles, and as he developed he turned them into home runs.

Machado had 51 doubles in his first full season. His first time up was long enough to count him as a rookie, so if he was a rookie in 2013 when he had all of those doubles, Andujar wouldn’t have a share of the rookie record. The Yankees are hoping that Andujar put enough muscle onto his body this winter to do the same thing Machado did with his hitting.

Fielding was a weakness:

Once the end of last season rolled around, Andujar had the worst third base fielding in the MLB, with his fielding percentage less than 95 percent. His glove wasn’t the issue, most of the mistakes he made were just throwing and judgment errors, including his baseball IQ. Andujar has been working hard during the winter to improve his fielding so he can continue to have a starting spot.

Last year at times, Andujar would be removed late from the game and replaced with Neil Walker or Ronald Torreyes. With both players gone, he doesn’t have much of a backup, DJ LeMahieu being the most likely.

Torres’ fielding percentage was just a hair over 96 percent, with his shortstop fielding percentage under 93 percent. That number is slightly concerning, as he likely could be the opening day shortstop with LeMahieu at second. The hype on Torres was his strong defense, and he did make several great plays last season but booted some of the easier ones.

Poor play on defense sometimes leads a player to have poor hitting, and if their poor defense continues in 2019, they may have some trouble at-bat. They need to keep that same mindset at the plate, and more strength may lead to more home runs. Hopefully, Miguel Andujar and Gleyber Torres can avoid the “sophomore slump” in 2019 and make an impact on both sides of the ball.

New York Yankees: Highlighting the biggest position battles entering Spring Training

New York Yankees, Aaron Hicks

With Spring Training beginning and position players reporting just days from now, a lot of questions remain for the New York Yankees on how the 25 man roster may play out, and on who may start where. Today we dive into the four biggest position battles the Yankees face this spring.

Left field and the extra outfielder:

It remains very obvious that Aaron Judge and Aaron Hicks will start in right field and center field, assuming Brian Cashman doesn’t sign Bryce Harper. After Brett Gardner had a rather poor season and Clint Frazier is healthy again, we have ourselves a rookie vs. veteran for a starting outfield position.

Clint Frazier reported on twitter a few weeks ago that he is “cleared to participate in spring training”. Red Thunder has overall had success in his time called-up from AAA, and had a walk-off home run in 2017. Frazier often served as the Yankees “26th man” on doubleheader days last year, without using a minor league option. Frazier bat .265 last season in the majors in 34 at-bats.

Brett Gardner bat just .236 last season, well below his .261 career average. By the end of last season, it seemed that he couldn’t really hit a thing, and with the acquisition of Andrew McCutchen, he saw his playing time go way down in September. In Game 1 of the ALDS, Aaron Hicks went down with a pulled hamstring, forcing Gardner to start games two and three. He ended up going 0-for-8.

You also have Jacoby Ellsbury. He would be more of an option to be the “extra outfielder”, but with him playing poorly over the years and him already having injury issues this season, he is already behind and prone to get hurt again and struggle.

First Base:

The Yankees have a two-man race for the first base position, and from what we saw last season, Yankees fans assume that it will be Luke Voit starting at first base over Greg Bird.

In all of 2018 (Cardinals and Yankees), Luke Voit bat .322 with 15 home runs in 143 at-bats. His incredible strength and power helped fill the slack of the injured Aaron Judge when he joined, but the success didn’t stop once Judge returned. Having Voit in the lineup gives the Yankees three players who can hit the ball all the way into downtown Manhattan.

Greg Bird has been, well……. playing rather poor in his MLB career. He is batting a career .214 in 576 at-bats, and bat just .199 last season. Voit had double the stats of Bird last season in about half as many at-bats. If Bird has a poor spring, could this finally be the end for Bird with the Yankees? Sending him down may be a bad option, the Yankees actually have two great first basemen at the AAA level in Mike Ford and Ryan McBroom, Ford being invited to the major league camp. It’s always possible that the super-underdog could steal the show.

DJ Lemahieu does remain a viable option, but he will focus more on the middle infield. Aaron Boone did say in his first press conference something along the lines of Andujar learning first base a bit, but it isn’t a focus for him or the team. Any way in which the Yankees choose to go; there will be depth.

The middle-infield cluster

The Yankees have four middle infielders for just two starting spots. Those players are Troy Tulowitzki, DJ Lemahieu, Gleybar Torres, and Tyler Wade.

The Yankees kinda shocked the baseball world and signed Troy Tulowitzki for a one year deal, to help fill-in for the injured Didi Gregorius, who appears to be making great progress in his recovery. But Tulo himself has had injury problems, and his stats have been on a decline over the last four years. His fielding, however, remains one of the best in the league. Could he maybe start at shortstop this season? Anything is possible.

Then there is last years starting second base sensation, Gleybar Torres. Remember, he came up as a shortstop and moved to second base due to Didi Gregorius. So with that, he may be the Yankees opening day shortstop with Lemahieu or possibly Wade at second.

Lemahieu remains the most likely option for the opening day second base spot, as that’s where he played with the Rockies for the most part. The only concern in the play of Lemahieu is his struggles away from Coors Field, where he hit so well it. But many Yankees players who can deal with the New York pressure hit well at Yankees Stadium with the short porches making the stadium extremely hitter-friendly.

Tyler Wade will likely not be a starter for the Yankees but should find his way onto the team and the field. He has a pretty solid glove, is a great base-runner, and his versatility can take him out of the infield and into the outfield when need be. His hitting has struggled big time in the majors, but he should be a solid non-offensive option.

A middle relief spot or two is still available

The Yankees have a lot of power guys that are known to help in the final innings but still lack a few middle relief options. Your power relievers are Aroldis Chapman, Dellin Betances, Zack Britton, and Adam Ottavino. Chad Green and Jonathan holder are high leverage, middle relief guys. You have one or two spots available for low leverage situations, let’s see what they have:

In 2017, the Yankees acquired Tommy Kahnle in a trade with the White Sox. He was great in 2017, but an early-season injury in 2018 derailed his season. Once he returned, he never got his high 90s velocity back and spent most of the season in AAA. This season would be a perfect time for a comeback season.

Danny Farquhar missed most of the 2018 season with the White Sox with a brain aneurysm. The Yankees signed him to a minor league deal this Winter with an invite to camp. His career ERA is 3.93, and is pitching with a chip on his shoulder this season. He could be a valuable asset for the Yankees bullpen, too.

Chance Adams pitched just one game last season: an emergency start against the Red Sox, and struggled as presumed. He had ups and downs last season at AAA, but I don’t think he is MLB ready yet. He would be used however as a long reliever if he made the club.

Stephen Tarpley started last season in AA, but made it up all the way come September. Once he got adjusted, he was actually really good, especially against lefties. He would be a great lefty specialist option. If he pitched like he did last season, he should have a good shot at the MLB club.

My 25 man roster prediction:

SP: Severino, Tanaka, Paxton, Happ, CC

RP: Chapman, Betances, Britton, Ottavino, Green, Holder, Tarpley

C: Sanchez, Romine

INF: Voit, Torres, DJ, Wade, Tulo, Andujar

OF/DH: Judge, Stanton, Hicks, Gardner, Frazier

26th man: Ellsbury? Kahnle?

New York Yankees: Will Austin Romine remain the Yankees Back-up catcher?

In 2018, New York Yankees catcher Gary Sanchez missed a good portion of the season because of groin injuries throughout the season. When he went down, back-up catcher Austin Romine did a great job behind the plate, but in the case for Yankees fans, did Romine do “too good of a job” in the sense that he could be traded to another team to take the role as a starting catcher? If that were to happen, would Kyle Higashioka do a good enough job as the back-up?

Is Romine deserving of a starting job elsewhere?

Around the trade deadline last season, the first rumors emerged that teams would possibly be interested in acquiring Austin Romine in a trade for a pitcher. He caught a good amount of games from May into mid-summer when Sanchez was rehabbing his groin and found himself on the DL twice.

In 242 at-bats in 2018, Romine hit .244 and had an OBP of .295 while slugging .417. In addition, he had 10 HR and 42 RBIs. He has shown in the last three seasons that he is a more reliable defensive catcher with a fielding percentage of .994 and a significantly less number of pass balls, compared to 18 passed balls for Sanchez in just 74 starts behind the plate in 2018.

Another thing that attracts teams to Romine is his work ethic and passion of the game. In 2018, he won the Yankees “heart and hustle award”, and has previously worked so hard to try and get back to the major leagues after limited appearances in 2011, 2014, and 2015, and no appearances in 2012. He’s also been known to stand up for his teammates and call out opposing players when need be. His most famous example of that is his brawl with Miguel Cabrera in 2017 against the Tigers.

Could Kyle Higashioka do a good enough job?

Kyle Higashioka has also been constantly working as hard as he can for his shot. Despite many trips up and down from AAA since the beginning of 2017, he wasn’t able to get his first until 2018 when he hit a long home-run during Sunday Night Baseball against the Red Sox.

His first three major league hits were actually home-runs but only hit .167 in 72 AB. He did have solid defense, with just one error in 20 starts, but his arm needs work. He would generally put the throws on target, just not quick enough.

Higashioka clearly had trouble at-bat in 2018, and also struggled in AAA batting only .202. With that average, he should be lucky that the Yankees were relatively low on catching options because he could have easily been sent down to AA. His fielding percentage was even slightly lower with Trenton, at .986.

Kyle Higashioka clearly needs work to be MLB ready. Besides his fielding percentage, his hitting numbers are nowhere near ready to be the MLB back-up catcher. If the Yankees were to trade Romine, they would need to receive a MLB ready catcher in exchange or sign an MLB veteran catcher, or claim one off of waivers. Veterans Matt Weiters, Caleb Joseph, and Stephen Vogt are all free-agents and could work as a back-up if a trade were to happen.

10 Predictions For The New York Yankees And The MLB Season

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In just a few weeks New York Yankees pitchers and catchers will be reporting to spring training and hope will spring eternal for every team in MLB other than the Mets…they are just cursed and that’s that.

It’s the time of year when optimism is at an all-time high, and everyone thinks this year will be the year it all comes together. Every injury prone player is in the best shape of his life and is going to be the comeback player of the year, every hitter has adjusted his launch angle and is going to hit .450 with 75 home runs.

Best of all, every sports writer makes their predictions that will quickly be forgotten once the season starts and their success rate matches Joey Gallo’s batting average. Well, I want to get my predictions for the upcoming season on the record as well.

So without further ado here they are:

  1. Bryce Harper and Manny Machado will play professional baseball in 2019. It’s true, someone will pay them to play this year, and I’m 85% certain it won’t be in Japan. One subplot to their free agency dragging on I haven’t seen enough people commenting on: How bad can it be to play in Philadelphia? The owner already basically promised his fanbase they would sign one of these guys if not both, and committed “stupid money” to do so and the response from both players has been “Ummmm cool, I’m totally interested in playing for you, seriously I am (glances at watch) ummm my guy will call your guy to work out the details, gotta go.” Their like a teenage girl who are keeping their safety date for the prom available while they wait for someone better to ask them. Then again Philadelphians are insufferable and they deserve it.
  2. CC Sabathia will make more starts then James Paxton.  That’s right, the 300-pound lefty who turns 39 in July, and who just had heart surgery will be more durable than the 30-year-old ace that the Yankees acquired from the Mariners. I’m predicting 18 starts for Paxton and I think CC will make it to 20. Bonus prediction, remove the decimal point and I think both pitchers ERA’s will match their weight.
  3. All those people who demanded the Yankees trade Gary Sanchez for JT Realmuto will vanish by the end of the season. “Trade the Kraken??? I never said that, that was totally someone else. Nah, my twitter was hacked or something I knew he was gonna bounce back.” When Sanchez hits 40 homers this year and drives in 100 runs they are going to backpedal and claim they never wanted to trade him, do not allow it. Find their comments, or posts, or anything you can cut and paste it onto a word document 1000 times and send it to them once a day as a reminder of their lack of faith.
  4. Clint Frazier will win the left field job by June 1st and have a solid season. Brett Gardner will be a 4th outfielder and continue his transition into the veteran leader role. Jacoby Ellsbury will spike himself during a baserunning drill and miss most of the season rehabbing the injury.
  5. Boston’s decision to not resign most of their bullpen will be their second worst decision. I know that Betts,  Bientendi, and JD Martinez were great last year but they still plan on a platoon of Mitch Moreland and Steve Pearce at 1st base, the artist is formerly known as Dustin Pedroia at 2nd base, Rafael Devers whose slash line was .240/.298/.433, and HOFer Xander Bogaerts and his up and down offense. Not to mention their catchers being a total trainwreck. Not addressing their line-up will be their biggest concern, you can’t save leads you don’t have.
  6. Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton will combine for 90 home runs and Yankee fans will still be unhappy with the team not signing Machado or Harper. The Yankees are going to break their own home run record from last year with a healthy Judge and Sanchez, Stanton more comfortable in his role, and the Voit/Bird combo being better than a season ago. All that being said Yankee fans are still going to be upset about not signing one of the big free agents. Some people are hard to please I guess.
  7. The best division in MLB this year will be the NL Central. The Cubs, Brewers, and Cardinals are all playoff caliber, Cincinnati has retooled in a huge way, and Pittsburgh will be the best last place team in baseball. Bonus prediction: Sonny Gray wins 15 games and gets down-ballot Cy Young votes, winning more games than James Paxton.
  8. Shohei Otani comes back down to earth in his second go round. His .330 babip and 30% k rate are probably unsustainable and his injuries and games pitching limited his exposure to AL pitchers in 2018. If he continues to strikeout in 1/3 of his at-bats, and he loses .030 of luck on his batted balls your looking at .230 with 20 HRs. Giving him the ROY over Andujar is going to be like when they gave it to Angel Berro over Matsui.
  9. Chris Sale’s shoulder issues will get worse. He has gradually missed more and more time over the last few seasons with inflammation and his effectiveness has dropped off as each season progressed. He’s entering the last year of his contract and Boston may try to run him into the ground to prop up their mediocre starting rotation. If they do he won’t be pitching beyond July 4th.
  10. The Yankees will win the world series. They have a stacked line-up, young players growing into their roles, only two everyday players that have reached their peaks (Stanton and Lemahieu) and can expect improvements from Sanchez, Torres, and Bird. They have enough starting pitching and a dominant bullpen to get them through games when their starters struggle. With Boston needing JD Martinez and Mookie Betts to continue being Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig just to not go backward, and their rotation being a fragile Sale, David Price and his inconsistency issues, Nathan Eovaldi trying for two consecutive  good seasons for the first time in his life and Rick Porcello who has been good twice in his entire career it’s clear the Yankees are the new AL favorite.

So there you have them, please remind me how I did come October.

New York Yankees: Was Luke Voit A One Hit Wonder Or Is He A Gem?

New York Yankees, Luke Voit

On July 28th, 2018, the New York Yankees acquired first baseman Luke Voit in a deal that sent LHP Chasen Shreve and RHP Giovanny Gallegos to the St. Louis Cardinals.

This trade made Yankees fans extremely happy, but not because of Voit. Chasen Shreve had been with the Yankees since 2015, and overall pitched poorly and Brian Cashman could not move him to the minors due to him being out of minor league options.

There was hope for fans that Shreve would be DFA’d or traded, and that finally happened. Shreve had an ERA of 4.26 in 2018, and in 2016 had an ERA of over five. He wasn’t working out and traded him just to get rid of him because he really had no spot and the same as Voit with St.Louis.

Finally getting a chance with the New York Yankees:

In 2017, Luke Voit appeared in 62 games for the Cardinals 28 hits, 18 RBI, and 4 HR. That would translate of a major league average of .246 that year.

In 2018, he started the season with the Memphis Redbirds, the AAA affiliate of Cardinals. He bounced up-and-down from the MLB to AAA a lot that season, not really able to get comfortable and batting for the Cardinals, but .299 for the Redbirds.

Once he was traded to NYY, he was assigned to the Scranton/Wikes-Barre Railriders and continued to rake, batting .310. With Greg Bird continuing to struggle and injuries still an issue, Voit was called up and made an immediate impact for the Yankees.

Once Voit was called up, he went right to work and took Greg Bird’s spot away. Bird was playing extremely poor, making errors and batting a terrible .199 over 82 games.

The more Voit played, the better he played. He hit a whopping .333, had an OBP of .405, and his slugging was through the roof at .689. In 39 games, he amassed 14 HR and 33 RBI. Also must note, the home-runs he was getting weren’t really with much help of the short porches down the lines of Yankee Stadium, he was hitting Aaron Judge like home-runs that were no-doubters.

He would only really sit when there was a match-up with an RHP that Aaron Boone didn’t like, so Bird or new Miami Marlin Neil Walker would start.

Other options still exist:

Though Voit had that instant success with the Yankees in 2018, many still wonder if he is the man in 2019 at first base. A lot of players have historically struggled in their sophomore season, and could he be the next?

Neil Walker signing with Miami obviously takes away any thought of him returning in 2019 to play first. DJ Lemahieu has signed for the next two seasons to be a utility player, and though he hasn’t played a lot of first base recently, he could still be an option.

Obviously, the Yankees still have Greg Bird, but it seems that he has played worse as more time goes on. Miguel Andujar could possibly play first, but that likely won’t happen unless the Yankees sign Machado. Entering the offseason, the Yankees were shopping a first baseman, expressing serious in then Arizona Diamondback Paul Goldschmit, now being traded to Voit’s previous home, St. Louis.

Several men have the opportunity to win the first base job in Spring, but will it be Voit? If it is Voit, will he have the same success? Only time can find out.

New York Yankees: Neil Walker Signs With Marlins Despite Return Rumors

New York Yankees utility man Neil Walker has reportedly signed a one-year deal with the Miami Marlins, for two million dollars. Entering this off-season, there became a lot of talks about the Yankees possibly resigning him for another year.

Before the Yankees got Troy Tulowitzki and had announced they had serious interest in Manny Machado, Walker may have been an option to start the season at second base while Gleyber Torres shifted to Shortstop to fill the shoes of the injured Didi Gregorious.

Yankees’ Walker 2018 performance:

In 2018, Neil Walker had statistically his worse season after getting off to a dreadful start, before finally picking it up just before the all-star break. He hit .219. had an OBP of .309, and had a slugging percentage of .354, all career lows. Though he did have several clutch hits to start rallies and a couple walk-offs.

He wasn’t able to really get it going until he saw more of a role with the team. He first saw an everyday role when Gleyber Torres saw DL time in July, then playing some RF when Aaron Judge was injured and Giancarlo Stanton needed to rest or DH to nurse hamstring tightness.

Walker had previously not seen OF action, but needed to when the team was in a ‘next man up mentality’. He also learned how to play third base after Brandon Drury had gone down with an early season injury, and knowing that they may need help on defense with Andujar having fielding skills that need development.

How he will impact the Marlins

Walker will serve as a veteran in another utility role in Miami, but most likely playing more first base. Ex-Yankees Starlin Castro and Martin Prado occupy second base and third base, and the most support will be needed at first base.

The Marlins no longer have a true first baseman after they traded Justin Bour to Philadelphia, now signing with the Los Angeles Angels. The Marlins have a very young, underdeveloped team that needs veteran support and all-around depth. I know that Walker would much rather play for a contender, but this is a good fit for him.

New York Yankees Player Preview: Greg Bird

New York Yankees, Greg Bird

After missing almost all of the 2017 regular season with an ankle injury requiring surgery, first baseman Greg Bird has a full season ahead of him in 2018 to prove his value to the New York Yankees.

The 25 year old lefty batter who was selected  in the 5th round of the draft by the Yankees in 2011, was a catcher in high school and drafted to play that position. He was then converted to first base.

Bird’s Accolades:

Most notably of his minor league career was being named Arizona Fall League Most Valuable Player in 2014.

Bird made his major league debut on August 13, 2015. He appeared in 46 games for his team, hitting .261 with a .343 OBP and 11  home runs and 31 RBI’s.

2016 Bird was sidelined the entire season recovering from a torn labrum which required surgical repair.

In 2017 Greg Bird was a force to be reckoned with in spring training, as he was tied for first with Bryce Harper for most home runs. (8) Bird led the league in extra base hits, (16) OBP, (.556) SLG, (1.098) and OPS. (1.654)

Unfortunately during the spring, Bird fouled a ball off his ankle, prompting the previously mentioned surgery.

He was activated on August 26 and in 48 games hit .253 with 9 homers and 28 RBI’s for the season.

Bird smashed a home run off Andrew Miller in the ALDS, only the second homer given up to a lefty batter all season by the star reliever, to help advance the Yankees to the ALCS against the Houston Astros.

During the early spring 2018 spring campaign, Bird is slashing 095/269/364. The career .999 fielder should improve those numbers as he gets tuned up for the Yankees and enjoys a full year of playing time and remains healthy.

Yankees fans should also look forward to Bird contributing to a successful season with his glove and bat. Look for Bird to soar in 2018. Bird is the word!