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Greg Bird’s swing is back, but his baserunning needs some improvement

 

Yankees first baseman Greg Bird reached second base twice on Monday afternoon with two doubles against the Orioles at Ed Smith Stadium in Sarasota. That’s the good news.

The bad news is that he had some trouble advancing another 90 feet to the next bag.

Bird was thrown out at third base on two infield ground balls hit by Aaron Judge–one fielded by the shortstop and one the pitcher–which suggests that the spring training rust hasn’t left the 24-year-old just yet.

“Those are bad reads, plain and simple,” Bird told the New York Post. “I’ll just get better at it and just work on it and be better. Those were bad reads, straight up. I mean I guess a little bit, your instincts, whatever you want to call it. I just got out there and I didn’t go with my gut. I should have went with my gut. I’ll learn from it and we’ll work on it a little bit.”

Yankees manager Joe Girardi will supervise baserunning drills back at the George M. Steinbrenner Field complex on Tuesday.  Spoiler alert: Bird will be participating.

“You try to weigh the good that he did (Monday) against the mistakes and you just try to eliminate those,” Girardi said. “He hasn’t played a lot. I don’t know how much that had to contribute to him making base-running mistakes, but those are things we need to clean up and needs to clean up. He has to adjust his reads a little bit. I told him if he hit triples he doesn’t have to make that read. It was good to see him swing the bat because that’s really important.”

While fundamental tasks are sometimes the most challenging to perform, Bird was still pleased with his timing and swing at the plate. That’s the important thing, right?

“You just want to have quality at-bats,” Bird told the NYDN. “I just felt my timing was a little late the first two days. I was seeing the ball well, but not quite matching up my swing with what I’ve seen. Today, I was able to match the two together.”

If you want to connect with Tom Hanslin, email him at [email protected] or follow him on Twitter @tomhanslin.

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