Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Greg Bird to Miss 2016.... Now What?

I love having prospects related news to discuss on Prospects Month but the worst kind of news possible broke yesterday just in time for the kickoff of Prospects Month, the Yankees had their first major injury of the 2016 season. It was announced that Greg Bird would undergo shoulder surgery to repair a torn labrum that would ultimately end his 2016 season before it began. The Yankees have Mark Teixeira at first base and it was expected that Bird would start out at Triple-A anyway but what will New York do now that they are without the Birdman of New York for next season?

Well as I said Mark Teixeira is the starting first baseman but who is the projected backup? Well according to Brian Cashman the backup is Dustin Ackley, another left-handed platoon option. The Yankees also have both Chase Headley and Brian McCann who have spent time at the position inside Yankees pinstripes. That's all good and well but what about Plan C's and such plus do we really know who starts at the position in Scranton next season?

Tyler Austin is the most likely scenario here after spending time at the position in the Arizona Fall League this season. Austin has seemingly gone from about a 5th or 6th outfielder in a very crowded outfield in Scranton to likely being the team's starting first baseman with a true shot at the Major Leagues if an injury were to occur. Austin is a right-handed bat although his bat has been pretty hit or miss in recent years. He's either one or he's off, no in-between, but Austin has a true shot at winning back the hearts and minds of the Yankees organization.

New York could always go out and sign a minor league first baseman or a major league option on a minor league deal but that kind of seems unlikely at this point. It seems like Austin and the list of backup options or bust if Teixeira were to go down with an injury in his contract season. Let's hope it's more Austin and less bust, shall we?

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Sorry for the Capatcha... Blame the Russians :)