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Bird is the Word: Yankees Recent Call-up Greg Bird Showing Club He Belongs

Bird homered twice in Yankees win over Twins

Greg Bird watches his first career home run as he rounds the bases on August 20, 2015 at Yankee Stadium (AP Photo/Julie Jacobson)

Greg Bird watches his first career home run as he rounds the bases on August 20, 2015 at Yankee Stadium (AP Photo/Julie Jacobson)


On August 13, the New York Yankees were playing the Cleveland Indians at Progressive Field in Cleveland with a new face in the lineup. Yankee prospect Greg Bird was called upon to give the slumping and tiring Mark Teixeira a day off. Bird went 0-for-5 in his debut, but hit the ball hard three times.

After watching Bird take his debut hacks, many compared the 22-year old’s swing to former Yankee slugger Don Mattingly. Quite a compliment to pay a young player who has been in the league for a day, but now the Yankees and Yankee fans see what many baseball writers and scouts meant.

Bird, who was hitting .277 with 12 homers and 52 runs batted in in the minors, picked up his first Major League hit last Saturday in a 4-1 win over the Toronto Blue Jays. Bird was hitless in eight at bats before singling off of LaTroy Hawkins. After the hit, Bird was certainly relived, but wasn’t jumping for joy. Birds’ body language showed that he wanted more, giving a somewhat “It’s about time” look to first base coach Tony Pena.

Bird made his Yankee Stadium debut on Monday night, coming off the bench to pinch run for Teixeira who fouled a ball of his knee but walked in the at bat. Teixeira was taken out of the game after reaching first and was diagnosed with a deep knee bruise.

Bird would have two at bats in the game, walking in his first plate appearance, then in the Bottom of the tenth inning Bird would leadoff with a rocket double to right-center field off of Minnesota Twins reliever Glen Perkins. It was his first hit at Yankee Stadium, and was a big one. Bird would get to third and be pinch run for by Brendan Ryan, who would go on to score the game winning run.

Bird would start Tuesday and Wednesday as Teixeira is resting his knee. On Tuesday, Bird went 2-for-4, picking up his first career run batted in in the Yankees 8-4 win over the Twins.

Yesterday, Bird was back at it again, this time picking up his first career homerun, a 2-run shot into the upper deck. He followed that up with another 2-run shot, a game winner into the Yankee bullpen, giving the Yankees a 4-3 lead they did not relinquish. Bird also had another first, his first Yankee Stadium curtain call following his second home run.

Yankee manager Joe Girardi has had great praise for his youngster including comparing him to Detroit Tigers star Miguel Cabrera in the way both players slow the game down and don’t look out of place.

“When I think about some of the young kids that I managed, a lot of it had to do with [time] in Florida,” Girardi told reporters on Tuesday. “And this is a big comparison, and I’m not saying this is what my expectation would be, but Miguel Cabrera had a slow clock and really had an understanding of what he wanted to do. I think Greg Bird has an understanding of who he is and what he wants to do.”

At the trade deadline, Yankees General Manager Brian Cashman deemed Bird “untouchable” and now fans who initially criticized the move to not make any moves understand why.

To see a young prospect come up and produce has to be refreshing for everyone in the organization.

Bird is a home grown Yankee with plenty of potential and has been putting it in display the last few days for the Yankees.

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