Yankees opt for Luke Voit over Greg Bird for AL wild-card roster

NEW YORK -- When the New York Yankees announced their wild-card game roster Wednesday morning, Greg Bird, a 25-year-old first baseman long considered one of the organization's most promising rising stars, was left off it.

Instead, the Yankees will be going with trade-deadline acquisition Luke Voitat first base -- and batting fifth in the lineup -- against theOakland Athleticson Wednesday night.

Since coming to New York on July 29 as part of a deal that sent relievers Chasen Shreve and Giovanny Gallegos to St. Louis, Voit has been an offensive spark plug. In 39 games with the Yankees, Voit has hit .333 with 14 home runs, 33 RBIs and a 1.095 OPS.

Although he struggled when he was initially traded to the Bronx, Voit has been a tough out since late August, when he was recalled after a short stint with Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.

Voit has started all but five games since Aug. 24, hitting .351 in that span. Each of his 14 homers have come since then, too.

Voit's rise coincided with Bird's decline. Through 82 games this regular season, Bird batted just .199. He also had 11 homers, 38 RBIs and 78 strikeouts.

A former fifth-round draft pick, Bird missed the first two months of the season after undergoing ankle surgery at the end of March. He underwent the procedure after feeling discomfort before a spring training game. That discomfort was connected to ankle and foot problems that also kept him out for much of last season.

Yankees manager Aaron Boone also is carrying three catchers against the A's, including Kyle Higashioka in addition to starter Gary Sanchez and backup Austin Romine.

Backup infielders include Neil Walker, Adeiny Hechavarria and Tyler Wade.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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