Yanks' Greg Bird put on DL with ankle bruise; Jacoby Ellsbury nursing elbow injury

ByAndrew Marchand via ESPN logo
Wednesday, May 3, 2017

The Yankees have placed struggling first baseman Greg Bird on the 10-day disabled list with a right ankle bruise.

Bird, 24, is hitting just .100 (6-for-60) on the season. He missed all of last season due to shoulder surgery. In 2015, he hit 11 homers in 46 games.

Center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury also was out of the lineup Tuesday night against the Toronto Blue Jays with an injury to his left elbow. Yankees manager Joe Girardi says an MRI revealed a bruised nerve, and the team will wait a couple of days before making a decision about whether Ellsbury needs to go on the DL.

Ellsbury got hurt when he ran face-first into the padded wall to make a terrific catch Monday.

During spring training, Bird looked in top form with a .451 average and eight homers. However, during the final days in Florida, he fouled a ball off the ankle and has not been the same since.

"It wasn't getting better. We were doing a lot of different things, trying a lot of different things, and it just never came around," Bird said. "It just seemed like the more I turned it up, the more it disagreed with me.

"Obviously, we have a good team, and I think we have a chance to go really far into the season. So get it right now and be ready to go for the long haul."

Girardi said Bird has seen several doctors and had a second MRI on Tuesday -- the first one was administered following the team's opening trip last month.

Bird will be shut down for seven to 10 days with no baseball activity. There is no estimated timeframe for his return.

"We're pretty confident there are no breaks. But bone bruises, they're tricky," Girardi said. "They can last months."

Three of Bird's six hits this season and two of his RBIs came in one game, on April 16 against St. Louis.

"Watching him yesterday," Girardi said, "I just didn't feel like there was a lot of explosion in his lower half. We talked after the game, and we felt that we just need to give this some time. A bone bruise can take months and months to heal. Players deal with them all the time. He just felt like his ankle wasn't working properly. Yesterday was the first day I really, really noticed.

"He's had his struggles. At times we've shut him down. At times he has felt better. But yesterday, that's the worst that I had seen when it came to using his lower half," the manager added. "This one just seems to not be healing."

The Yankees have stood behind Bird throughout his slump. Yankees GM Brian Cashman refused to even consider sending Bird down to Triple-A to try to find his swing.

Chris Carter, who hit 41 homers last year for the Milwaukee Brewers, is the Yankees' backup first baseman. Utility manRob Refsnyder was called up to replace Bird on the roster.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.