NEW YORK -- Greg Bird has battled through offensive struggles throughout the 2018 season, and after getting off to a cold start through his first 10 games in August, he showed his first sign of righting the ship on Saturday afternoon.Bird went 2-for-4 with two doubles in Saturday's 5-3 victory
NEW YORK -- Greg Bird has battled through offensive struggles throughout the 2018 season, and after getting off to a cold start through his first 10 games in August, he showed his first sign of righting the ship on Saturday afternoon.
Bird went 2-for-4 with two doubles in Saturday's 5-3 victory over the Rangers at Yankee Stadium, giving him 22 extra-base hits (out of 46 total) on the year.
Despite Bird logging his first multihit game since the first game of the July 28 doubleheader against the Royals, manager Aaron Boone decided against running with the momentum, and penciled in the right-handed-hitting Luke Voit against Rangers lefty Martin Perez on Sunday.
"We value 'hot.' I would say 'hot' is a little bit more of an extended period," Boone said. "You're talking to me about Greg Bird, who I believe a lot in as a player and who he is and his ability to handle both hands. But this doesn't change that for me. This is more about Martin Perez today and [wanting] to keep Voit relevant. Perez has had his struggles against right-handed hitting in a big-time way this year."
Entering Sunday, Bird had slashed .209/.284/.407 against right-handed pitching this season, while hitting .244/.385/.415 against lefties. Although Boone said there will be more instances this season where Bird will be in the box against southpaws, it may not happen in the immediate future, as the team is still getting familiar with the newly acquired Voit.
"Considered it a lot," Boone said of starting Bird. "But again, [we're] in this stretch, and we need to and want to find out a little bit of what have in Voit. And obviously the DH situation, we wanted to keep Giancarlo [Stanton], and that complicates things. It doesn't allow for some of the flexibility, but there's going to be plenty of lefties where Greg Bird's in there. Today was almost one of those days, but we feel like we want to keep the whole roster relevant and active as well.
"We kind of take on each day independently and how a guy's swinging, how rest goes into things, it all gets baked into the cake when I'm making my decision about it."
No timetable for Stanton's return to outfield
Stanton said after Saturday's game that he will serve as the designated hitter for a little while longer in order to stay in the lineup without overworking his stiff left hamstring. The team does not have a set timetable for his return to the outfield, but Boone made it clear that they will err on the side of caution to avoid losing another starter to the disabled list.
"We're just kind of day by day," Boone said. "I kind of feel like we almost could use him now; I'm just kind of playing it real conservatively. Obviously, he's not somebody we can really afford to lose or want to lose. So, just trying to be as smart as we can while riding him hard. ... It's just something that we're trying to stay on top of before, during and after each day and trying to make the best decision about if and when we get him back out there on defense."
Outfielder Clint Frazier is still in Tampa, Fla., working through post-concussion migraines, although Boone said on Sunday that he seems to be progressing.
"He hit in the cage and threw yesterday," Boone said. "Hoping at some point he gets back outside and really starts ramping up the baseball activity. Still dealing with some symptoms in and out each day, but seems like it's trending in the right direction."
This date in Yankees history
Aug. 12, 2016: Alex Rodriguez played his 2,784th and final career game, going 1-for-4 with an RBI double as the Yankees defeated the Rays at Yankee Stadium.
Mandy Bell is a reporter for MLB.com based in New York.