Yankees Injury Updates On Chapman And Bird


The Yankees are sitting in first place with a 2.5 game lead over the Orioles but all isn’t perfect in the Bronx. The Yankees have played most their games without first basemen Greg Bird, who had an amazing Spring, and the last 2 weeks without superstar closer Aroldis Chapman. Both were slated to miss significant time but are progressing towards a return.

Chapman is scheduled to meet with doctors on Friday and if everything looks good, will begin throwing again on Saturday. We’re likely looking at a few bullpen sessions and maybe a rehab appearance before we see him in game action, if he’s healthy, but with the impact his loss has had on the bullpen I wouldn’t be surprised if he comes back sooner.

The Yankees’ relievers have a 2.92 era, which is 3rd in MLB, but haven’t looked great the last few weeks. Chapman gave up runs in back to back appearances before going on the DL and his absence has changed the balance of the bullpen. Dellin Betances has stepped into the ninth inning role, which he has historically struggled in, and proved Randy Levine wrong by showing he can deliver in that spot. As a result, Adam Warren and Tyler Clippard have been moved up an inning and in the last week have each lost a game. Warren is clearly more comfortable in the middle innings and Clippard just doesn’t have the same caliber of stuff that Betances and Chapman bring in the late innings. So getting Aroldis back should make everyone more comfortable when Yankees have to make a decision on Chad Green.

Greg Bird has been out a little longer, going on the DL on May 2 while batting .100 in 60 at-bats. In Spring Training Bird hit .451 with 8 home runs but fouled a ball off his foot right before the season and struggled out of the gate. Whether this injury is why he struggled so much, I don’t know, but getting some time off and rehab at the minor league level should help him regain confidence and come back stronger.

This week Bird has hit ball off a tee and fielded with positive results. The plan is for him to take batting practice on Friday and Saturday then head to Tampa for more workouts and extended Spring Training. If all goes well, he’ll spend some time at Scranton and make his way back to the Bronx to save us from the Chris Carter experiment.

In other news, it looks like Refsnyder will be the move for Ellsbury even though the idea of him in the OF scares the shit out of me. It makes the most sense from a roster standpoint and likely means Ellsbury will be back quickly.