The Yankees are having a war going on at first base. Both Greg Bird and Luke Voit are vying for the first base position this spring. Here’s why Both Greg Bird and Luke Voit should make the 25 man roster.
This spring both Voit and Bird have been raking. Coming into this spring Brian Cashman said that the job belonged to Luke Voit and it was his to lose. Luke Voit has done nothing to lose the first base job hitting .263 with an OPS of .970. However, Greg Bird is putting on a hitting clinic. Bird is hitting .348 this spring with an OPS of 1.073. Those are numbers that can earn a first base job and with the advantage of being a left handed hitter you can argue that Bird should be the first baseman going into the 2019 season. However, Voit added a spark to the Yankees that brought energy and gave the fans something to rally around with the “Luukkee” chants.
Aaron Boone said that the Yankees will ride with 13 pitchers. That means either German or Cessa will be in the bullpen. The Yankees should consider going into the regular season with 12 pitchers and putting both Voit and Bird on the roster. The Yankees bullpen is going to be elite. With the resigning of trade deadline pickup Zach Britton and the acquisition of Adam Ottavino the Yankees have assembled one of the greatest bullpens ever. German or Cessa will most likely not get high leverage innings.
As I said before Bird is left handed which is a big advantage since going into the season the only other lefties in the lineup are Hicks (switch hitter) and Gardner with Didi being out for around half the year. Platooning Bird and Voit could be a big advantage for match up reasons. Also, with the short porch of Yankee Stadium all Bird has to do is pull the ball.
Also, if the Yankees are dead set on starting with 13 pitchers and only one of Bird and Voit will be on the roster that means that either Tyler Wade or Clint Frazier will be on the roster to fill the final spot. Aaron Boone said earlier this spring that Clint Frazier will most likely start in Scranton. So that means that Tyler Wade will be on the roster as a utility man. The Yankees should platoon Bird and Voit instead of having Wade on the roster. While the utility role is a big role and a great one to have DJ LeMahieu fills that role. DJ LeMahieu will be an everyday player but will play at different positions and will be giving rest days to those who need it.
Now, Bird and Voit don’t both have to be on the roster for the whole season just to start it. Eventually one of them will run away with the job and then you can send the other one down and send up Tyler Wade or if both do great you can keep both if you want and then it can be a nightmare for other teams because no matter if they send a righty or lefty to the mound the Yankees will have someone who can hit them at first.
It is always better to have too much talent than not enough.
Featured Image: Arturo Pardavila III/Flickr