Yankees’ Bird to play Saturday, 3 days after getting hit
“I’m just glad it’s good,” Bird said Friday.
Bird and Luke Voit will likely share time at first base and designated hitter to start the regular season. The pair has been competing for the first base job but both are expected to make the 25-man roster because of injuries to others.
Bird hit 11 homers and drove in 31 runs in 46 games in late 2015. He missed all of 2016 following right shoulder surgery, was limited to 48 games in 2017 because of ankle and knee issues and slumped to a .199 average with 11 homers and 38 RBIs in 82 games last year, when he started the season on the disabled list following right ankle surgery.
The 26-year-old has had a strong spring training, hitting .333 (13 for 39) with three homers and eight RBIs in 17 games.
“Ready to get going,” Bird said.
Ace Luis Severino (right shoulder inflammation) is to increase his throwing program to 90 feet Saturday. He had Friday off after two days of playing catch at 60 feet. … Reliever Dellin Betances (right shoulder inflammation) will resume throwing in the next couple days. … CF Aaron Hicks (lower back) has not resumed baseball activities.
OF Clint Frazier was optioned to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. He was limited to 15 major league games last season due to a concussion. Manager Aaron Boone has said the 24-year old needs to get at-bats and opportunities with the Yankees at the start of the season would be limited. New York also re-assigned LHP’s Rex Brothers, Danny Coulombe, and Phillip Diehl, RHP Drew Hutchison, and infielders Kyle Holder and Giovanny Urshela to its minor league camp.
Yankees guest instructor Lee Mazzilli was released after spending two nights in the hospital after being struck in the head by a ball during batting practice Wednesday.
Mazzilli was hurt during a workout at New York’s spring training complex at Steinbrenner Field for Yankees players not on the travel roster for a two-day trip to West Palm Beach and Jupiter.