Yankees’ Bird has foot inflammation, will be checked in NY
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. (AP) — Yankees first baseman Greg Bird has inflammation in his right foot and will be evaluated by a specialist in New York on Monday.
Bird was scratched from the starting lineup in a split-squad road game Saturday against Atlanta. He had an initial examination by team orthopedic surgeon Dr. Daniel Murphy and later underwent CT and MRI exams.
“I’m worried about it, to be honest,” Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said early in the day. “I’m not sure what we’re dealing with but Greg, when he can tee it up it’s a problem for us. He’s a vital member of our organization. Hopefully if he’s going to be down, it won’t be long.”
Neil Walker or Tyler Austin could fill in for Bird if he misses any regular-season games. The Yankees open the season Thursday at Toronto.
This is the second consecutive year that Bird had a late spring training injury.
Bird fouled a ball off his right ankle in the Yankees’ final spring training game in 2017. He had surgery on the ankle in July and was limited to just 48 games.
Cashman said the current soreness is in a similar area. Bird didn’t foul a ball off his foot in batting practice Saturday.
“He did say he’s had some discomfort a little bit off and on,” Cashman said. “But he said (Friday) when he ramped up baseball activities to nine innings, it started to rear its ugly head. I guess it carried over in (Saturday’s) pregame.”
Bird hit .190 overall last year but had eight homers and 25 RBIs in 29 games after returning from the disabled list in late August.
The 25-year old missed all of 2016 after having labrum surgery on his right shoulder.
Bird made his major league debut Aug. 13, 2015, and hit 11 homers in 46 games. The 11 homers were the most ever by a Yankee in his first big league season when joining the club in August or later.
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