As the Yankees have been tearing through their opponents and capturing their first AL East title since 2012, 1B Greg Bird has been rehabbing -- again.
It's been a constant for Bird the past three seasons. The longest he's ever been on the roster was 82 games last season. Before that, he played in just 46 games in 2015, and in 2017, he had 48 games in the books.
This season has been his worst, though. Bird lasted just 10 games, going 6-for-35 with a homer and an RBI before leaving with a left plantar fascia tear. That was another season-ending injury for the first baseman whom the Yankees had very high hopes for. Bird had looked very solid in Spring Training, too, becoming the Opening Day first baseman.
He's been rehabbing this entire season with the intention of returning for Spring Training next season, but he admits this entire process has been "frustrating."
"I'll be ready," Bird, who visited the Yankees at Tropicana Field on Wednesday, told NJ.com's Brendan Kuty when asked if he'll be ready for next season. "It's just been a long process. Frustrating."
Bird didn't think this injury would keep him out the entire season, and even though he feels good right now, there's just three regular season games left against the Rangers before the postseason begins. That's the reality that he is facing again, as he won't be able to help the Yankees come October.
"But I suppose that's the way it goes sometimes," he said. "You deal with it, work, hang in there and that's it."
The Yankees have a while before they can start thinking about their offseason moves, but it must be on GM Brian Cashman's mind what he wants to do with Bird. Though the talent is certainly there, he hasn't been able to stay healthy. And with Luke Voit proving he can be the team's everyday man at the position as well as the addition of super utility DJ LeMahieu, Bird could be an option to float around in trades.
Would any team want to take a flyer on him? Maybe not with that injury history. However, a player with two years left of team control before he's a free agent in 2022 could be appealing. It could also be a reason why the Yankees might want to keep giving him another chance.
No matter what happens this offseason, Bird will continue working his way back and preparing for another Spring Training. Of course, he'll root the Yankees on this postseason. But, once again, he'll have to do so without suiting up with his teammates.