With lefthander Wade Miley pitching for the Orioles on Sunday, struggling lefthanded-hitting first baseman Greg Bird was not in the Yankees’ starting lineup. But the 24-year-old’s spot on the club is not in danger.
“It’s not even an option for me, in my mind, right now at all,” general manager Brian Cashman said of sending Bird to the minors to get his swing back.
After a red-hot spring training, Bird has a .107/.265/.214 slash line with one homer and three RBIs in 18 games. He pinch hit for Aroldis Chapman in the 10th inning Sunday and was hit by a pitch.
“He’s going to come around and I feel like he is coming around,” Cashman said. “He’s had good at-bats, he’s driven the ball. He was bad the first three weeks, that was a fact. But I feel like he’s coming through it. He’s impacting the ball better; he just hasn’t had the results to show for it.”
Rookie lefthander Jordan Montgomery was pretty good Sunday, allowing one run in the first five innings, but walked Manny Machado and Mark Trumbo to start the sixth. Jonathan Holder allowed both inherited runners to score in a three-run inning that gave the Orioles a 4-2 lead.
In his fourth big-league start, Montgomery was charged with three runs and allowed three hits and four walks in five innings-plus. The 24-year-old, whose ERA ticked up to 4.15 from 3.78, struck out seven.
“Probably just trying too hard,” Montgomery said of the sixth. “Trying to get too [fine] with it instead of just throwing the baseball.”
Cashman said Double-A Trenton manager Bobby Mitchell misspoke Friday night when he said top position prospect Gleyber Torres will be playing primarily on “the left side” of the infield and that plans to have him play some second base essentially had been scrapped.
“We have a player development plan for him that involves second, third and short, and nothing’s changed that,” said Cashman, who said he was not upset with Mitchell.
Torres, 20, returned from the disabled list Friday and has played shortstop the last two games. He’s 5-for-10 with four RBIs in three games since returning.
For Pete’s sake
Infielder Pete Kozma, designated for assignment Friday when the Yankees activated Didi Gregorius, was claimed off waivers by the Rangers.