Yanks pluck another prospect from the minors
It has worked so far for Luis Severino. Maybe it will as well for Greg Bird.
It, of course, is being thrown into the major-league fire. Severino, the Yankees’ top pitching prospect, has supplied two strong starts since his call-up from Triple A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre to help a rotation that is without Michael Pineda, who is on the 15-day disabled list and will make an injury-rehabilitation start Sunday at Double A Trenton.
Bird, one of the Yankees’ top hitting prospects, was recalled Thursday and was inserted into the lineup for the series finale at Cleveland’s Progressive Field. Bird will play first base and bat seventh in manager Joe Girardi’s lineup. The move gives a break to Mark Teixeira, who has been struggling this month with a .175 batting average, two home runs and four RBI in 40 at-bats.
With the designation for assignment of Garrett Jones for the second time this season, the Yanks were without a legitimate back-up first baseman other than Brendan Ryan, who also fills in at the other three infield positions. Bird, who is 6-foot-5 and 220 pounds, is a pure first baseman who was batting .301 with six home runs and 23 RBI in 34 games at SWB following his July 4 promotion from Trenton where he hit .258 with six homers and 29 RBI in 49 games.
The Yankees certainly can use a jolt in the offense that has gone sour lately with only nine runs scored in the past six games, the last five of which have been losses to drop them out of first place in the American League East by one game to the Blue Jays, who won their 11th straight game Thursday on the eve of a three-game series against the Yankees at Rogers Centre.