Today: 19.06.2018
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18.06.2018

Greg Bird arrives as Yankees lament Tyler Austin conundrum.

Greg Bird’s journey back to the Yankees from another ankle surgery appears to be almost over, as the first baseman is expected to be back with the Yankees on Saturday against the Angels. “I think he’s good to go,’’ manager Aaron Boone said before the Yankees’s 2-1 win over the Angels in The Bronx on...
Time: 02:52     Date: 26.05.2018
Last US Sport News: Greg Bird arrives as Yankees lament Tyler Austin conundrum. NY Post 24 - US News

“I think he’s good to go,’’ manager Aaron Boone said before the Yankees’s 2-1 win over the Angels in The Bronx on Friday night.

Bird played a dozen rehab games with Double-A Trenton and Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre and went 8-for-39 (.205) with three homers before leaving SWB on Friday.

“The report’s been really good,’’ Boone said of Bird’s minor league stint. “His at-bats have been good. It’s still the start of the major league season [for him], but we feel like physically, timing-wise, all those things, he’s in a pretty good place.’’

Bird’s return will require what Boone called a “difficult decision” to make room for him on the roster.

Another possibility is sending down a pitcher, though that would leave the Yankees with 12 pitchers. They have spent much of the season with 13. And Boone pointed to the upcoming stretch of 14 games in 13 days between Friday and their next off day.

“It depends where we are [with our bullpen],’’ Boone said.

Boone said again Friday he doesn’t want to lose Austin’s contributions.

“With Tyler, he’s been an impact performer for us,’’ Boone said of Austin and his eight homers. “He’s a reason we’re sitting where we are with a strong record. He’s played a major role in that. We expect that to continue throughout this year.”

Before Friday’s game, when Austin started at first against Angels lefty Andrew Heaney, he said his future wasn’t on his mind.

“I try not to think about it and do my job,’’ Austin said. “Like I’ve done all year.”

Regardless of what the Yankees do to make room for Bird, his presence in the lineup could make an already fearsome offense even stronger.

Bird missed 2016 after offseason surgery to repair a torn labrum in his shoulder and was sidelined for most of last season following his first ankle surgery. Bird came back in late August and struggled at the plate before a resurgence during the postseason.

But he was unproductive again this spring before admitting that his ankle was sore, leading to the second procedure to have a bone spur removed.

This time, Boone expects Bird to hit the ground running.

“There’s no holding back,’’ Boone said. “He’s rested and ready to go.”

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