News and Rumors

Joe Girardi names Greg Bird starting first baseman

You could see it coming from a mile away, but manager Joe Girardi made it official Wednesday morning by naming Greg Bird the team’s starting first baseman, according to Andrew Marchand of ESPN.

Bird, 24, is hitting a robust .421/.500/.947 with six doubles, four homers and six RBI this spring. He’s put to rest any concern regarding his surgically repaired shoulder, which caused him to miss the entire 2016 season.

Bird had been competing with newly-acquired Chris Carter for the first base job. Carter, who slugged an NL best 41 homers last season, is hitting just .118 with one long ball so far in spring training.

While Bird is slated to be the starting first baseman on the depth chart, it will be interesting to see how Girardi uses Carter. The Yankees have to walk a fine line with developing Bird and using their new impact power bat — which means playing Bird against lefties so he sees them as much as possible — and getting Carter enough at-bats to where the home runs make up for all of his strikeouts.

Regardless, you can pencil Bird into the Opening Day lineup against Chris Archer on April 2 at Tampa Bay.

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