Whether he believes it or not, 2019 is going to be the last chance for Greg Bird, if he even gets that. With Luke Voit seeming to be the clear-cut first baseman, Bird will have to take advantage of any opportunity he gets to make an impact on this Yankees team.
Bird, 26, endured another let down of a season in 2018, posting a dreadful .199/.286/.386 slash line with 11 homers and an 81 wRC+ in 82 games after undergoing another ankle surgery in March—. And now with the monstrous Luke Voit in the first base fold, Bird has no choice but to put up results if he wants to be with the big league club moving forward.
Where things sit right now, both Bird and Voit are set to make the Opening Day roster with Aaron Hicks being sidelined for at least the first series of the season. To give Bird some credit — where it’s due, he is putting up quite a damn good spring.
In 15 preseason games, he’s slashing .343/.489/.600 with 2 homers and 10 walks in 45 plate appearances. However, Voit, on the other hand, is putting up just as good of a showing so far, if not better. The 28-year-old is slugging .613 with 3 homers and 10 RBI in 31 spring at-bats — following a 2018 season where he slashed a dazzling .322/.398/.671 with 15 home runs in 47 games.
What will Greg Bird’s role be to start the season?
It’s borderline safe to say that if Hicks hadn’t endured problems with his back, Voit would be the guy come Opening Day and Bird would be on his way to Scranton. However, that’s obviously not the case. With a 25-man roster that will include both the power-hitting first basemen, the Yankees’ lineup could look something like this:
Gardner CF (L)
Bird 1B (L)