Yankees first baseman Greg Bird was seen taking grounders with infield coordinator and third base coach Joe Espada at Yankee Stadium on Monday evening prior to New York’s 8-2 loss to the Los Angeles Dodgers, according to Brendan Kuty of NJ Advance Media.
Bird, who has missed the entire 2016 season due to recovery for a torn right shoulder labrum, is scheduled to return to action this October in the Arizona Fall League. The 23-year-old will also face live pitching with the Yankees’ Instructional League beginning next Monday in Tampa, Fla. at the team’s training facility.
As a rookie in 2015, Bird impressed the organization with 11 home runs and 31 RBI in 46 games while Mark Teixeira was sidelined with a season-ending right leg fracture in mid-August.
“(Being out) is definitely something you can’t prepare for at all,” Bird said. “You go from working all the time to all of a sudden nothing. Nothing is a good thing, but I think that’s a tough concept, tough to grasp. It’s been interesting, a hell of a learning curve.”
He also added that with a gradual increase in his workload, baseball routine and activities are almost back to normal.
“I think I’m kind of passed the relief stage, if you will,” he said. “I feel good doing a lot of things. It’s not perfect, it takes a little while, but it’s a good step.”
Bird is expected to compete with rookie first baseman Tyler Austin for the starting gig next spring training.