Yankees 1B Greg Bird is suffering from right foot inflammation and will be evaluated by a foot specialist on Monday, the team announced.
Bird was scratched from the Yankees' lineup on Saturday and subsequently underwent tests, which revealed the inflammation. He had surgery last year to remove a bone from his right ankle.
This spring, Bird is batting .154 with 1 HR and 4 RBI.
Bird's early career has already been ravaged by injuries, as shoulder surgery saw him miss the entire 2016 season, and he played just 48 big league games last year because of an ankle injury.
Last season, Bird battled injury to hit .190/.288/.422 with 9 HR and 28 RBI in 147 at-bats.
Injuries seem to follow certain ballplayers and Bird cannot seem to shake them.
The Yankees took a chance that the oft-injured Bird could stay on the field long enough to fulfill the massive potential in his left-handed bat. Bird, by many estimations (mine included), was set to fully break out in the middle of the lineup for the Yankees, potentially splitting powerful right-handed hitters Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton. However, Bird's latest malady could have him opening the season on the disabled list with the season set to begin in less than a week.
Bird's replacement could come in the form of newly inked veteran switch-hitter Neil Walker, who has played all of 17 MLB games at first base. The Yankees would likely call up right-handed hitting Tyler Austin to be the backup and start against lefties if in fact Bird opens the season on the DL. Walker has been consistently productive from the left side of the plate and Austin has significant power, although he's been unable to stay on the field himself.
A lengthy loss of Bird in the lineup could wreak havoc on the Yankees opening to the season, bringing back memories of the 2017 campaign when the club had to rely on Chris Carter when Bird hurt the same foot. That experiment did not go well and there's no certainty the Yankees backup plans for this season will either.