Thursday, August 13, 2015
In the midst of a five-game losing streak, in which runs have been harder to come by than a late night meal in Cleveland, the Yankees have recalled minor league slugger Greg Bird to add some punch to the lineup. The Yankees had acquired Garrett Jones back in December (along with Thursday night's starter, Nathan Eovaldi) to back up Mark Teixeira at first base as well as play some right field, but Jones was designated for assignment Wednesday for the second time in two weeks.
In addition, to spelling Teixeira, Bird will also get some at-bats at DH when Alex Rodriguez needs a day off. Just as the Yankees called up Luis Severino a little over a week ago to bolster the starting rotation, Bird's recall is an attempt to wake up the suddenly sleepy Yankees bats. New York has lost five straight games, in which they have scored a total of six runs. Four of those runs came in one game and the team has been shut out twice. Combined with the Toronto Blue Jays 10-game winning streak the Yankees have fallen out of first place in the AL East for the first time since July 1. At that time, they moved back into first the very next day. They're hoping that can happen again.
Bird was a fifth round draft choice out of Grandview High School (Aurora, CO) in 2011 and has steadily climbed the Yankees organization ladder. He first made a name for himself when he slugged 20 home runs and drove in 84 runs for the 2012 Charleston RiverDogs ('A'). In addition to hitting .288, he drew 107 walks and had a .938 OPS. He started this season at Double-A Trenton where he put up a .258/.358/.445 slash line with 6 HR and 29 RBI in 182 At-Bats. He's been even better since his promotion to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre - a .301/.353/.500 line with 6 HR and 23 RBI in 136 AB's. In his 2012 breakout year, Bird also struck out 132 times. So far this season, he has struck out 57 times in 318 at-bats. That means he's been more patient looking for his pitch and not chasing bad pitches or being fooled as often as he was three years ago. He comes to the Majors after going 19-52 (.365) with 3 HR, 9 RBI, and 8 runs scored over his last 12 games. Any help to the offense would be greatly appreciated at this time.
Here's a closer look at how bad the Yankees team slump is.
Jacoby Ellsbury 0-19; benched Wednesday night
Brett Gardner 5-35 (.143) in last 10 games; was thrown out stealing the last two nights and hasn't stolen a base in two months.
Alex Rodriguez 6-37 (.162) in last 10 games. 2-21 during losing streak.
Mark Teixeira 7-40 (.175) in last 10 games. 1-17 in last four games.
Chase Headley 3-21 (.143) in last seven games. Did have go-ahead 2-run single in first game vs. Indians.
Stephen Drew 1-18 (.056) with 1 solo home run in last five games played.
Brendan Ryan 2-16 (.125) in last half-dozen. And dude, that mustache has got to go.
Brian McCann 1-19 (.053) in last six played. Like Drew, with one solo home run. Not everyone has been bad.
Didi Gregorius went 6-19 in the last five games, though he didn't have an RBI or run scored. Carlos Beltran has a modest seven-game hitting streak in which is 8-24 (.333) with five walks, and a pair of home runs and RBI.
Here comes the corny. The Yankees are hoping that Bird will help them rise like the Phoenix and to soar again. I told you it was corny.