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Series Preview: New York Yankees vs New York Mets (7/20-7/22)

The Yankees enter the second half of the season with a 62-33 record, which has them slotted in second place in the AL East behind the Boston Red Sox who are currently 4.5 games ahead with a 68-30 record to this point in the season. Following last year’s close encounter with the Minnesota Twins in the AL Wild Card game, the Yankees should definitely do their best to avoid the one game nightmare in this second half. The Yankees will begin this quest with a three game set against New York’s inferior team, the New York Mets. The Mets are currently sitting at the bottom of the NL East with a 39-55 record and the Yankees won two of the three meetings between the teams this season, signs which should indicate a Yankees’ series win. However, unfavorable pitching matchups could derail the Bronx Bombers in this Subway Series.

Yankees injury news: Yankees' medical staff believes Greg Bird will return in late-August

The Yankees medical staff believes Greg Bird will return in late August as they push to make the playoffs, according to Buster Olney of ESPN. Bird has been out since the first month of the season with a nagging ankle injury after missing the whole 2016 season with a shoulder injury.

Photo Credit: Rick Schultz | AP

Bird’s injury history causes doubt about if he would truly contribute if he were to return, but it would give the Yanks yet another option for their high-powered lineup. First base, once seen as a major need, has now become a strength the past few weeks. Bird was phenomenal in the spring, but followed that up with an ineffective start to the season. Since then, he’s been on the shelf with his ankle injury, other than his short-lived rehab stint.

Chase Headley has rebounded from his abysmal May to heat up once again. He’s got the second best average in the AL since the All Star break, as his average is back up to .271. The Yanks also have Todd Frazier, who like Headley can play first and third. Along with Headley and Frazier, there’s Garrett Cooper who hasn’t gotten much of a chance after hitting .366 in Triple-A this year and Tyler Austin who’s recovering from his second injury of the season.

Photo Credit: Adam Hunger | USA TODAY Sports

So with suddenly all those options at first, it’s hard to see where Bird fits in and the Yanks certainly should not rush Bird back from injury. He would likely replace Cooper as the backup first baseman and would need to earn his way back after going 6-for-60 (.100) in the first month of the season. If he does figure things out though, it would make this Yankees offense even more dangerous.

Article by: Spencer Schultz