New York Yankees: Greg Bird out 6-8 weeks following ankle surgery

Aaron Boone Gary Sanchez will catch every Yankees starter

Bird will be evaluated by a foot specialist in NY on Monday, so we should have an update on his status for Opening Day by the end of tomorrow.

Bird began a rehab assignment with the RailRiders in early June, only for him to be shut down again after six games. New York Yankees fans are understandably concerned that this may be proven true.

Bird has played in just 94 regular-season games the last three seasons due to injury.

As of now, numberFire's models project Bird to hit.248 with 24 home runs, 62 RBI, and 56 runs scored in 467 plate appearances this season. Neil Walker and Tyler Austin can fill in until Bird comes back (Don't be shocked if Adam Lind finds his way back in Pinstripes).

Bird has been out of form in spring training, batting just.154 with one homer and 16 strikeouts in 52 at-bats.

"I'll be ready Thursday for sure", Brandon Drury said.

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"It's upsetting. I know it's upsetting to Greg, but at least we have some answers", Manager Aaron Boone told reporters in Atlanta on Monday night before the Yankees' final exhibition game.

The first baseman had a solid spring with the Mariners, knocking nine extra-base hits, driving in 10 runs and walking 10 times in 24 games.

Better to be safe than sorry, I always say.

"X-rays were negative, but there is definitely some swelling in there", manager Aaron Boone said. But with left-hander J.A. Happ on the mound for the Blue Jays, Boone is open to the possibility of having the switch-hitting Walker and the right-handed swinging Tyler Wade playing next to each other at second and first base, respectively. "We're certainly going to miss Greg, but we feel good about what we can do from a matchup standpoint with those guys".

This is the second consecutive year that Bird had a late spring training injury. Following his semi-breakout 2015 Major League Baseball serving size (11 HR in 46 games), he underwent right shoulder surgery to fix a torn labrum, keeping him out the entire 2016 season. But the Mariners would've needed to keep Ford on their 25-man roster the entire season or else offer him back to the Yankees.

While the loss of Bird casts a bit of a pall over the opener, Boone said he's trying to think long term.

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