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Bird returns after being scratched for HBP

@BryanHoch
March 23, 2019

TAMPA, Fla. -- Yankees first baseman Greg Bird was back in the starting lineup Saturday, two days after X-rays and CT scans of his right elbow returned negative. Bird was hit by a pitch in the first inning of Wednesday’s 2-1 Grapefruit League loss to the Astros, and received treatment

TAMPA, Fla. -- Yankees first baseman Greg Bird was back in the starting lineup Saturday, two days after X-rays and CT scans of his right elbow returned negative.

Bird was hit by a pitch in the first inning of Wednesday’s 2-1 Grapefruit League loss to the Astros, and received treatment on Thursday morning. He was scratched from Thursday's lineup against the Cardinals in West Palm Beach, Fla.

Boone said that while he believed Bird could have played against St. Louis, it was best to send him back to Tampa for precautionary X-rays.

The Yankees entered the spring with Bird competing against Luke Voit to be the Opening Day first baseman, but both appeared likely to make the team in the wake of Aaron Hicks’ lower back injury.

After dealing with health issues in each of the last three seasons, Bird enjoyed a terrific spring to this point. Once rated as the most complete hitter in the Yankees' farm system, Bird is batting .333 (13-for-39) with three doubles, three home runs and eight RBIs in 17 games.

A rash of injuries have impacted Boone’s squad in recent weeks. Hicks and pitchers Dellin Betances, CC Sabathia and Luis Severino will begin the season on the injured list, joining shortstop Didi Gregorius, who is recovering from Tommy John surgery.

Also on Thursday, infielder Tyler Wade was evaluated by the team's medical staff and said that he felt much better after being sent back to Tampa with tightness in both hips. Wade said that he has his full range of motion and could have played on Thursday.

Bryan Hoch has covered the Yankees for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and Facebook.