Sunday, June 24, 2018

For a system loaded with talent, the Yankees have few options after Greg Bird

Yesterday, Greg Bird had a decent game, relatively speaking: He went 0-2 with a walk. He only struck out once.

In 92 at bats this year, he is hitting .198 with 26 Ks and 16 hits. 

In his three year MLB career, Bird has yet to come to bat 200 times in a season, and unless he starts hitting, that could become his lasting legacy. I don't claim to be a scout, but the guy looks frightened at the plate, swinging behind fastballs and through curves. Were it anybody else, he'd be in Scranton. But Bird, at 25, will surely get at least until the All Star break to figure out MLB pitchers. Frankly, the Yankees have nobody else.

In recent years, a Florida sinkhole at first base has become the Yankee norm. Last season, they traded for Garrett Cooper, the lion of the Pacific Coast League, and even tried the portly Gi-Man Choi for while, while Bird recuperated from what we then assumed would be his final foot injury. Then, in spring training, his dog started barking again.

Now, he's once again recovering, slowly, with the Yankees surely beginning to wonder what they'll have when he's fully healed. If Bird doesn't hit, or just keeps getting hurt, what can they do? Not much. Here are the options.

1. Drop him in the batting order. Originally this season, he was earmarked to bat third. Yesterday, he hit sixth. He could probably fall to eighth.

2. Bring up Tyler Austin and have the two platoon. Austin has heated up in Scranton, but the most recent memories of his MLB at bats were not pleasant; he seemed to collapse before our eyes. 

3. Use Neil Walker. Statistically, we would gain one point in batting average. (Walker is hitting .197.) During the big winning streak of May, Walker had some nice games, but now he seems to fallen back to nothing. Yesterday, he failed to advance a runner on second with no outs; it was the type of situational hitting you want from a veteran, and he didn't come through. Walker is still a valuable utility man, but he sure doesn't look like a full-time option at first.

4. Use Austin Romine. This seems like a way to destroy Romine, a great backup catcher, while gaining next to nothing.

5. Trade for Garrett Cooper or Gi-Man Choi. (Or bring up Ryan McBroom, whom the Yankees hope not to see this weekend in Tampa.)

6. Just play Bird, view him as a defensive specialist, and hope for the best.

Right now, number six looks like the best option. But the clock is starting to tick on Bird. You can't be a prospect forever.


TheWinWarblist said...

What is the sound of BLP flapping?

So endeth the JuJu.

Rufus T. Firefly said...

Boone's going with option 3 today.

ranger_lp said...

Option 7: Bring up Drury to play first. Demote Bird or someone else.

HoraceClarke66 said...

I'm tellin' ya: the Sanchez-Bird platoon.

OR...get half-a-dozen other guys to learn first. They won't be Mattingly out there, but it's not a big defensive position.

Stanton, McKinney, or, as the long-playing ranger suggests, Drury. Any one of them could do it. But this is yet another reason why we should still think of this season as a rebuilding year.

Ken of Brooklyn said...

I'm going rogue and performing a little micro uJuJay during The Master's whooz hot whooz not segment, just for the offense,,,,, though I'm leaving Bird out of this since that's waaaaaayy over my pay grade.

Wish me luck, may the farce be with with you!

Anonymous said...

Option 8 - Bird until the trade deadline and then...

I actually like Duque's take of just thinking of him as a no hit defensive specialist. That way he can occasionally surprise us as opposed to not fulfilling expectations. Even though I was considering the Sanchez solution yesterday (if we need offense) I'm a big and longtime advocate of a "professional" 1st Baseman. It really makes a difference. See Teixeria, Mark Vs. Giambi, Jason.

After that if Bird continues to lay eggs... Jose Abreu from the White Sox.

Bats .272 avg. .324 OBP (Meh) 11HR 43 RBI (fits right in) OPS .800

So very good but not great. Better than Bird. Kind of what the BLP/BUP might look like anyway.

Can we afford him? Signed 1 year at $13M so half of that 6.5 doesn't kill the tax hit leaving us $ for pitching.

Arb. eligible next year. (we will have $$$$ then) FA 2020.

But, the defense...

I don't understand fielding metrics but these are Bird's 7.32 .995
These are Abreu's in the same categories 8.64 .992

So, Abreu is better by 1.3 somethings.

The Cost? The White Sox are 17.5 games out. So, they suck. BLP and a couple of AA/A players? BLP gives them a major league player with limitless potential and they can have couple of pieces for the future. Future players are fine for them because... they suck!

Abreu is the missing piece for us on offense with no loss on D (Actually 1.3 somethings better!)

Vote Option 8!

Doug K.