Welcome to the second edition of Bronx Happenings! This week I will talk about the Yankees struggles at first base this season.
The Yankees are firing on all cylinders these days, well almost all cylinders. First base this season has been the Achilles heel for the Yankees, especially right now with Chris Carter and Rob Refsynder. manning the position will little offensive output.
The Yankees entered the season excited about what they had at first base. They got Greg Bird back from an injury that cost him the entire 2016 campaign. They also signed Chris Carter on an affordable deal a year after he hit 41 home runs last season for the Brewers.
The Yankees figured that they would have a good competition that would develop in spring training that would leave them with the best candidate to start at first. The Yankees felt as though that candidate was Bird and he started the season as the starter.
This would only last until May 2 as he would go down with an injury but the Yankees did not worry as they started Carter and expected the homeruns to flow. Problem is they never did.
So what's the solution? Well the solution is definitely not Chris Carter who only has four home runs on the year and is batting .180. The Yankees can't expect to continue their success with this huge black hole at such a notorious power position.
Rob Refsynder is also not the solution, he has been back and forth from Scranton and hasn't done much in limited playing time to impress while filling in at first which isn't his main position.
The Yankees do have help on the way however with Greg Bird and Tyler Austin on their way back. Bird played Sunday with the Yankees' High-A affiliate at Tampa as the DH and Austin is playing for their Triple-A affiliate at Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.
The most likely solution will be that Bird will play first base and Tyler Austin will be the backup. The Yankees may feel as though they are done with Carter because of his lack of production.
The Yankees are a dangerous offensive team with the ability to do damage against any pitcher in the league. As of right now they have a dead spot at first but if Bird can return to anywhere near his 2015 form which saw him hit 11 home runs with 31 runs batted in across just 19 games then the Yankees are going to be a force to be reckoned with.