After suffering a right shoulder labrum tear and missing the entire 2016 Major League Baseball season, Greg Bird has come back swinging. A product of Grandview High School in Aurora, Colo., the 24-year-old has been named by manager Joe Girardi as the starting first baseman for the New York Yankees.
Bird has been nearly unstoppable during Spring Training, where he is hitting .421. With Bird locked in as the starter, veteran Chris Carter has been relegated to the bench, possibly also seeing time as the designated hitter. Playing for the Milwaukee Brewers last season, Carter tied Colorado Rockies’ slugger Nolan Arenado for the National League lead in home runs, with 41.
Bird is not the only Colorado connection on the roster. Third baseman Chase Headley grew up in Fountain, Colo.
After being selected by the Yankees in the fifth round of the 2011 MLB draft, Greg didn’t make his MLB debut until 2015. In that season, Bird appeared in 46 games, putting up 41 hits in 157 at bats.
On the other hand, Bird’s teammate Headley has bolstered an established MLB career, playing seven seasons with the San Diego Padres and two seasons with the Yankees. Throughout his career, he has hit a total of 118 home runs.