Is It Time To Move On From Greg Bird?
If you watched Thursday afternoon’s debacle of a ninth inning, you are rightfully angry that Greg Bird swung at the first pitch with the bases loaded and nobody out and fouled out. While Bird has had a few injury-stunted seasons, it has become clear that he is a below-average hitter.
|Credit: Jim McIsaac/Newsday|
As many have pointed out, in 422 at-bats Miguel Andujar has 127 hits. In 527 at-bats, Bird only has 117 hits. Bird has accumulated about a whole season’s worth of games in his career by now and he’s only hitting .222 with 29 HR and 89 RBI. Granted, he has not been able to string together much because of his injuries but now there is a better idea of what he could do in a full healthy season.
The Major League average in 2018 in BA is .248 and the average slugging percentage is .410. Against pitches 95 MPH or higher, those numbers are .241/.378. Compared to the rest of the MLB, Bird is hitting .212/.398 and .111/.267 against pitches 95 MPH+. He can’t hit moderately hard pitching. His average exit velocity in 2018 is 87.3 MPH. For comparison’s sake, Brett Gardner’s is 86.9. Not quite the numbers you want from a guy that’s supposed to hit 40 home runs a year.
The Yankees are seemingly all-in on Bird being the first baseman when, at the trade deadline, they traded Tyler Austin to Minnesota. Austin is essentially the same player as Bird offensively but most fans, myself included, were eagerly awaiting the return of Bird in 2018. Austin provided a solid replacement when Bird was injured. Now the Yankees are relying on Luke Voit to help out when Bird is hurt or a lefty is pitching.
The question remains, if Bird can’t stay healthy and put a solid season together, do the Yankees give up on him? If he doesn’t produce next year with a (hopefully) full season, is it time to move on?
Article By: Sean McDermottFollow @seany_mcdermott Follow @BronxBomberBall