Credit Kim Klement/USA Today Sports, via Reuters
TAMPA, Fla. — Yankees first baseman Greg Bird, who has missed most of the last two seasons with injuries, was scratched from an exhibition game on Saturday and examined for discomfort in his right foot.
Bird left the stadium in Lake Buena Vista, Fla., near Orlando, and returned here to Steinbrenner Field, where he was examined by Daniel Murphy, an orthopedic specialist, before leaving to have magnetic resonance imaging and CT scans on his foot. The Yankees hoped to know more about his condition by Saturday night.
It was unclear what was causing Bird’s discomfort or whether it was related to the surgery he had to remove a bone from the same ankle last July. Bird, who was batting .154 with one home run this spring, told General Manager Brian Cashman that he did not foul a ball off his foot and that some intermittent discomfort started to get worse in Friday’s game.
If Bird is not ready to start the season opener on Thursday in Toronto, the Yankees will turn first base over to Tyler Austin, who has hit .270 with four home runs this spring, and to the recently signed second baseman Neil Walker.
“I’m worried about it, to be honest,” Cashman said. “I’m not sure what we’re dealing with, but when Greg, when he can’t tee it up, it’s a problem for us because he’s a vital member of our organization.”
First base has been a sore spot for the Yankees since late in the 2015 season when Mark Teixeira fouled a ball off his shin and had a strong season cut short. In the last two seasons, the team has started 14 players at the position.