TAMPA, Fla. — In Greg Bird’s mind, it could have been much worse, and his career has taught him that he had reason to feel that way.
Bird, who is in a competition with Luke Voit for the starting job at first base, was hit on the right elbow with a pitch Wednesday in West Palm Beach. The Yankees sent him back to Tampa on Thursday to undergo an X-ray and CT scan, both of which came back negative.
“It’s better than it was yesterday and yesterday was better than the day before,'' Bird said, "so that’s good.”
He did not swing a bat or throw Friday but said, “The plan is to play [Saturday].''
In the previous two years, Bird suffered injuries during the last week of spring training, which contributed to his being limited to a combined 130 games the last three seasons.
Bird is hitting .333 (13-for-39) with a 1.131 OPS. Voit, who started at DH on Friday night against the Phillies, entered the game hitting .316 (12-for-38) with a 1.053 OPS. He had outhomered Bird 4-3.
Frazier sent out
Clint Frazier, who entered camp with an outside chance at grabbing a roster spot after missing most of 2018 because of concussion issues, never got things going and was optioned to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre on Friday. Frazier, the centerpiece of the Andrew Miller trade with Cleveland in 2016, went 6-for-46 (.130) with a .208 on-base percentage in 17 games. Righthander Drew Hutchinson and lefthanders Rex Brothers, Danny Coulombe and Phillip Diehl – whose solid camp opened some eyes – were reassigned to minor-league camp.
Severino feeling good
Luis Severino, who will start the season on the injured list with rotator cuff inflammation, threw at 60 feet on Wednesday and Thursday and was off Friday. “Came in today feeling good,” Aaron Boone said. “[He’ll] play catch again [Saturday], [probably] at 90 feet. Hopefully he’s on his way.”
Aaron Hicks, who will start the season on the injured list because of a lower-back injury that has kept him out since March 1, has said his goal is to return by April 4, the first day he’s eligible.
Not so fast, Boone said.
“I think that’s probably too ambitious,” he said. “We’ve got to get him built back up properly. As much as we need and want him back, we also don’t want to push him out there early and jeopardize anything.”