The Yankees add Bird to the crowded IL; Voit to start



NEW YORK – The New York Yankees beat another player on the disabled list on Tuesday.

This time, it was Greg Bird, the often injured first baseman who has been fighting offensively. Bird was placed in the IL for 10 days, retroactive to Sunday, with a tear of the left plantar fascia.

In a corresponding move, the Yankees selected first baseman Mike Ford of Triple-A Scranton / Wilkes-Barre, and signed him for a major league contract.

It is not clear how long Bird will be out.

Outfielder Jacoby Ellsbury, who has not played in nearly two years, has been in the Yankees' IL since last season, due in part to his own plantar fascia problem. While the rehabilitation of that foot injury continued, Ellsbury was transferred to the 60-day IL on Tuesday.

Luke Voit would be the Yankees' first principal baseman, at the moment, with Ford largely as his backup. The Yankees would probably also feel comfortable fighting with the two players in a first base / DH situation, and Voit might see most of the action in the DH role.

Of the 14 games in which he has appeared this season, Voit has released nine times.

Ford, a native of New Jersey, brings a bat to the Bronx after hitting five homers and 14 RBIs in 10 Triple-A games this season. He had an OPS of 1,364 in that limited action with the RailRiders. The Princeton product has spent his entire career with the Yankees, signing as a free agent not recruited in 2013.

It is unclear exactly how he suffered the Bird injury, but he was seen limping on the first base line after beating a ground ball against the White Sox on Saturday. He later scored as part of a three-run inning that drove the Yankees to a victory.

Bird, who hit less than .200 in limited action in the previous two seasons, is currently batting .171 (6-for-35) with a homer and an RBI this season.

He has dealt with shoulder problems throughout his career and was operated last spring on his right ankle, after treating another ankle injury the previous season.

With Bird now out of the game, the Yankees are back with a dozen players in their IL.

While starting pitcher CC Sabathia left the IL to make a brilliant debut of five hits and one hit in the season over the weekend, New York still lacks the likes of Giancarlo Stanton (left biceps strain), Miguel Andújar (small tear), Troy. Tulowitzki (strain of the left calf) and Gary Sanchez (strain of the left calf), among others.


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