Another one bites the dust. The Yankees announced this morning that Greg Bird has been placed on the 10-day injured list with a torn left plantar fascia. First baseman Mike Ford has been called up from Triple-A Scranton and Jacoby Ellsbury was put on the 60-day injured list to clear 40-man roster space.
Bird, who is no stranger to the disabled/injury list, is now the 12th Yankee on the injured list, and that’s after getting CC Sabathia back over the weekend. The Yankees are missing five of their nine starting position players, among others. The injured list, for posterity:
- Miguel Andujar (shoulder)
- Dellin Betances (shoulder)
- Greg Bird (foot)
- Jacoby Ellsbury (hip surgery)
- Didi Gregorius (Tommy John surgery)
- Ben Heller (Tommy John surgery)
- Aaron Hicks (back)
- Jordan Montgomery (Tommy John surgery)
- Gary Sanchez (calf)
- Luis Severino (shoulder)
- Giancarlo Stanton (biceps)
- Troy Tulowitzki (calf)
Bird has not hit much at all this year (57 wRC+) or the last three years for the matter (80 wRC+ from 2017-19), so I guess you could say this is not a big loss. Healthy players are better than injured players though, and Bird won’t be able to right the ship on the injured list. A torn plantar fascia? That sounds like a long-term injury. (And also a convenient excuse for his lack of production.)
In hindsight, Bird laboring while running down the line on a ground ball Saturday (the last game he played) probably should’ve been a bigger deal.
The 27-year-old Ford is a local guy from Belle Mead, New Jersey, and he signed with the Yankees as an undrafted free agent out of Princeton back in 2013. He is hitting .410/.467/.897 (235 wRC+) with more extra-base hits (four doubles, five homers) than strikeouts (seven) in ten games with the RailRiders this year. It’s also his third season at the level, so I’d take the numbers with a grain of salt.
Like Bird, Ford is a left-handed hitting bat-only first baseman. He can’t play other positions and isn’t especially nimble around the bag either, plus a platoon partner might not be a bad idea. The Yankees are replacing Greg Bird with an older and unproven version of Greg Bird, basically. Maybe the lefty hitting Ford will give the Yankees a shot in the arm against, uh, Chris Sale tonight.