Yankees first baseman Greg Bird was scratched from Thursday's lineup so he could undergo X-rays on his elbow after he was hit by a pitch in Wednesday's game, according to The Athletic's Lindsey Adler.
Bird, who has been competing with Luke Voit for the Yankees' starting first baseman job this spring training, is traveling back to Tampa even though he said he was OK after Wednesday's game.
Manager Aaron Boone said he thought Bird could have played but sent him back for precautionary measures, adding he was worried that Bird playing through soreness could affect his mechanics, according to Adler.
Bird, a designated hitter on Wednesday, was hit by a Wade Miley pitch in Wednesday's game against the Astros. Though Bird was wearing an elbow guard, the ball missed it and hit Bird's arm directly.
"When does it ever hit the pad, right?" Bitd said jokingly on Wednesday, according to ESPN's Coley Harvey.
The 26-year-old Bird has thrived this spring so far. Through 17 Grapefruit League games, he has a .333/.490/.641 batting line with three home runs and eight RBIs as he looks to start the season as New York's starting first baseman.
But his competitor Voit, who replaced Bird as the Yankees' starting first baseman late last regular season, has also had a successful spring. Voit, 28, has hit .316/.395/.658 with four home runs and 11 RBIs in 14 games.
Boone said Wednesday he considered both Bird and Voit to be "two impact players," according to Harvey.
"Bird's been a different guy this year," Boone said. "He's been the guy we've been waiting on. He looks that part right now. ... But then Luke has come in and picked up where he left off last year. Both guys are controlling the strike zone. Both guys are impacting the ball. Both guys have done everything we could've hoped for."
Bird debuted with the Yankees as a midseason call-up in 2015, but has been injured in each year since. He missed the entire 2016 season with a shoulder injury and suffered ankle and foot injuries in the springs of 2017 and 2018 that kept him out extended periods of time. In 176 career games, he has hit .214/.302/.434 with 31 home runs and 97 RBIs.
Ryan McBroom is starting at first base in place of Bird on Thursday.