Greg Bird woke up Tuesday morning feeling better than he thought he would.
The first baseman was scratched about an hour before Monday night’s game after experiencing spasms in his lower back and after the game said he expected to be down “a few days.”
But Bird, who underwent a precautionary MRI Tuesday morning, said later that afternoon he’s optimistic about playing Wednesday afternoon.
“My plan is to be ready tomorrow,” Bird said. “As the day’s progressed it’s been better. So I think that’s the plan for tomorrow.”
Tyler Austin filled in at first and went 1-for-4 with a double. Chase Headley got the start in Bird’s place Tuesday night.
“I was just frustrated last night,” said Bird, who missed most of the season with a right ankle bone bruise. “But it does feel a lot better today, so that’s good.”
Rookie Clint Frazier was activated from the DL and got the start in left against Tampa lefthander Blake Snell. Brett Gardner started in center and Aaron Judge started in right, meaning Jacoby Ellsbury, 12 for his last 30 and 21 for his last 64, was on the bench. Ellsbury passed Pete Rose Monday night by drawing his 30th career catcher’s interference.
Another multiple-innings weapon?
Chad Green has been an invaluable piece to the Yankees bullpen with his ability to, of course, strike batters out (96 in 63 innings) but also because he can provide multiple innings. Joe Girardi said he might have discovered another such option in David Robertson, who struck out four in a career-high 2 2⁄3 innings Monday night.
“That could be a real positive thing,” Girardi said. “I think you have to be careful how much you do it and you have to make sure he gets his proper rest, but it’s something that you learned.”
Adam Warren, placed on the DL last Wednesday with back spasms, won’t throw for at least another week.
“It’s two weeks of no baseball activities,” Girardi said.