The Yankees have announced that first baseman Greg Bird will undergo surgery on Tuesday to remove a small broken spur on the outside aspect of his right ankle. Bird is expected to miss six to eight weeks.
Bird, 25, underwent surgery last year to remove excess bone growth on that same right ankle. As a result, he played in only 48 games, batting .190/.288/.422 with nine home runs and 28 RBI in 170 plate appearances.
This is obviously not the news the Yankees wanted to hear about their starting first baseman, especially this close to the start of the regular season. The Yankees do have options to fill Bird’s shoes, as Neil Walker or Tyler Austin could man the position. The club also recently released Adam Lind and could ask him to come back given the circumstances.
Bird was a lightning rod for criticism last year as some people — including some within the Yankees’ organization — believed he was making up his ankle issue. Let’s see if the latest news brings the same people crawling out of the woodwork.
Blue Jays starter Marcus Stroman strugged in Sunday afternoon’s start against the Red Sox, yielding four runs (three earned) over five innings. He fell to 2-7 with a 5.86 ERA. The Jays dropped three of four games to the Sox in the series and now sit with a 43-52 record heading into the All-Star break.
Steve Buffery of the Toronto Sun reports that while Stroman was initially cool, calm, and collected when speaking to the media after the game, he eventually snapped. Stroman was asked by a reporter about breaking into professional baseball with short-season Single-A Vancouver in 2012. Stroman yelled at the reporter, noting that his team had just lost to the Red Sox, and called his team “f– terrible.” Keegan Matheson’s account of the situation lines up with Buffery’s as well.
Prior to the outburst, Stroman had just praised his teammates, saying, “My team picks me up a ton. They pick me up all year. I should be able to pitch better in times like that when my team doesn’t have my back. Because they’ve had my back a ton of times. So, love my guys on my team and like I said, I would go to war with them any day.”
Stroman will have off until Friday, so hopefully the time off helps him clear his mind. It has understandably been a frustrating season in Toronto.