The Yankees have placed first baseman Greg Bird on the 10-day injured list with a plantar fascia tear in his left foot — an injury that figures to cost him much more than 10 days:
Prior to tonight’s game, the @Yankees placed 1B Greg Bird on the 10-day I.L. (retro to 4/14) with a left plantar fascia tear, selected 1B Mike Ford from Triple-A @swbrailriders and signed him to a Major League contract, and transferred OF Jacoby Ellsbury to the 60-day I.L.— Yankees PR Dept. (@YankeesPR) April 16, 2019
This is just the latest setback in a series of unfortunate injuries for the 26-year-old Bird, whose feet and ankles seem to have structural integrity equivalent to those of an oversized NBA center. After breaking out with a .871 OPS in 2015, Bird missed the entire 2016 season while recovering from shoulder surgery. He missed most of 2017 due to a troublesome ankle bruise, then had surgery on that ankle the next spring and missed the first two months of the season.
The left-handed hitting Bird had been surpassed on the Yankees’ depth chart by Luke Voit long ago, but with the Bronx Bombers suffering a rash of injuries to start the season, he’d been getting quite a bit of playing time at first with Voit DHing. He didn’t take much advantage of that opportunity, hitting .171/.293/.257 while hitting just one homer in 41 plate appearances, and now he’ll join a who’s who of position players on the Yankees’ injured list: Miguel Andujar, Aaron Hicks, Gary Sanchez, Giancarlo Stanton, Troy Tulowitzki, Didi Gregorius, and the infamous-and-probably-never-returning Jacoby Ellsbury.
Bird will be replaced on the 25-man roster by former Mariners Rule 5 pick Mike Ford, a 26-year-old Princeton product who has been toiling in the upper minors for four seasons now and is hitting a ridiculous .410/.467/.897 with five homers at Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre so far in 2019.
If guys like Ford and Gio Urshela perform well while filling in for the many injured players, most or all of the currently-injured players return to health and the Yankees don’t suffer any more significant injuries for a while, Bird may have a tough time earning his spot back on the major-league roster after this development. Luckily for the Yankees, he’s been injured so much over the past few years that he hasn’t yet burned any minor-league options, meaning he can be stashed in Triple-A if they so choose.