Yankees add Bird to crowded IL; Voit to start

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NEW YORK — The banged-up New York Yankees added yet another player to the injured list Tuesday.

This time, it was Greg Bird, the oft-injured first baseman who has been struggling offensively. Bird was placed on the 10-day IL, retroactive to Sunday, with a left plantar fascia tear.

In a corresponding move, the Yankees called up first baseman Mike Ford from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre and signed him to a major league contract.

It’s unclear how long Bird will be out.

Outfielder Jacoby Ellsbury, who hasn’t played in nearly two years, has been on the Yankees’ IL since last season, due in part to his own plantar fascia issue. While continuing to rehab from that foot injury, Ellsbury was transferred Tuesday to the 60-day IL.

Luke Voit will be the Yankees’ primary first baseman for the time being, with Ford largely serving as his backup. The Yankees also probably would feel comfortable platooning the two players in a first baseman/designated hitter situation, with Voit perhaps seeing the bulk of action in the DH role.

Of the 14 games he has appeared in this season, Voit has DHed nine times.

Ford, a New Jersey native, brings a hot bat to the Bronx after slugging five homers and 14 RBIs in 10 Triple-A games this season. He had a 1.364 OPS in that limited action with the RailRiders. The Princeton product has spent his entire career with the Yankees, getting signed as a undrafted free agent in 2013.

It’s unclear exactly how Bird suffered the injury, but he was seen hobbling up the first-base line after beating out a ground ball against the White Sox on Saturday. He later scored as part of a three-run inning that powered the Yankees to a win.

Bird, who batted under .200 in limited action in each of the previous two seasons, is currently hitting .171 (6-for-35) with one homer and one RBI this season.

He has dealt with shoulder problems throughout his career and had surgery last spring on his right ankle after dealing with another injury to the same ankle the previous season.

With Bird now sidelined, the Yankees once again have a dozen players on their IL.

While starter CC Sabathia came off the IL to make a brilliant five-inning, one-hit season debut over the weekend, New York is still missing the likes of Giancarlo Stanton (left biceps strain), Miguel Andujar (small labrum tear), Troy Tulowitzki (left calf strain) and Gary Sanchez (left calf strain), among others.



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