The New York Yankees got off to a hot start on Opening Day. That includes a home run from Greg Bird which is a big deal.
The New York Yankees are going to hit a lot of home runs this season, that much is certain. Who knows they might break their own record for most home runs hit by a team. A record which they set last season.
All of spring training there was a battle at a couple positions. Tyler Wade and Clint Frazier were both essentially battling for one of the final roster spots, and Greg Bird and Luke Voit had a battle at first base.
The most important battle was at first base between Voit and Bird. Both of them had an excellent spring training. With Aaron Hicks starting the season on the DL that keeps the battle going into the regular season, and right now they’re both on pace for 162 home runs this season (will update after game 162). Whether or not Yankees fans are expecting big things from Bird the front office is, and that may put a little pressure on Bird.
Bird finished spring training with more walks than strikeouts which is a really good sign. Let’s face it he’s completely under performed the last few seasons, but that’s not entirely his fault. He’s never actually finished spring training, and he’s usually spending the offseason rehabbing an injury.
This time around he’s healthy, and actually finished spring training. Even though he almost didn’t after being hit by a pitch in the final week of spring training. None of the coaches have ever seen Bird when he’s completely healthy, and that’s part of the reason why they continuously hold out hope that he can perform at a high level.
People forget that Bird basically won the Yankees Game 3 of the 2017 ALDS against the Cleveland Indians. If you remember he hit that mammoth home run against Andrew Miller for the games only run. Bird has a .921 career postseason OPS so it’s not like he can’t perform.
Voit and Bird are both going to get at bats. How many each of them gets is dependent on how they perform (and inevitable injuries). If Bird can stay healthy all season, and be the guy the Yankees think he is then it makes the lineup that much deeper. Oh, and Bird is probably a better defensive first baseman than anyone on the roster.