BALTIMORE -- A bruised right ankle may be responsible for Greg Bird's sluggish start to the season, and the Yankees first baseman is expected to rest until Monday's home opener against the Rays at Yankee Stadium.Bird had X-rays, which were negative, after Friday's 6-5 loss to the Orioles. The club
BALTIMORE -- A bruised right ankle may be responsible for Greg Bird's sluggish start to the season, and the Yankees first baseman is expected to rest until Monday's home opener against the Rays at Yankee Stadium.
Bird had X-rays, which were negative, after Friday's 6-5 loss to the Orioles. The club had planned to send Bird for a CT scan on the ankle, which he injured fouling a ball off his foot in a March 30 Grapefruit League exhibition against the Phillies in Clearwater, Fla. But an O's team physician felt no such scan was necessary, and the Yankees listed Bird as day to day.
"He said it felt better going into yesterday, but by the third at-bat, it started bothering him again," manager Joe Girardi said Saturday. "We took an X-ray and that was negative, so I'll probably give him a couple days off and see where he's at."
Bird enjoyed a torrid spring, batting .451 while leading the Majors in extra-base hits (16), on-base percentage (.556), slugging percentage (1.098) and OPS (1.654), while tying for the lead in home runs (eight). Bird is 1-for-16 (.063) with seven strikeouts to begin the regular season.
"I think I'm just a little late," Bird said after Friday's game. "I feel like I'm swinging at what I want to swing at, just not hitting what I want to swing at. I've just got to do a better job."
Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said that his level of concern with Bird is "low."
"The X-rays were negative, which is good, but it's sore. ... Because the X-rays are negative, I'd say low concern," Cashman said. "He's just somebody that's beat up."
• Cashman said that his level of concern with right-hander James Kaprielian, the club's top pitching prospect, is "high." Kaprielian had two MRIs this week in Tampa, Fla., after complaining of pain in his pitching elbow, and he will travel to see Dr. Neal ElAttrache in Los Angeles on Tuesday.
"I'm very concerned in the fact that this has gone on since last April," Cashman said. "If we're at that point [of surgery], we'll certainly announce that. We're making sure that we check all boxes, including the player's interests, as well. The player has asked to go see ElAttrache."
• Jordan Montgomery appears to be the favorite to serve as the Yankees' No. 5 starter. Montgomery's next start is slated to come with Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre on Tuesday, while Chad Green is pitching for Double-A Trenton on that date. The Yankees will use that fifth starter on April 16 against the Cardinals.
"I'm leaning a certain way, but there's another start to be had," Cashman said. "There was a favorite leaving Florida but we don't have to make that final call until we have to."
Bryan Hoch has covered the Yankees for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and on Facebook.