By New York Daily News
Brian Cashman said Tuesday he has no plans to acquire anyone to play first base in Greg Bird’s injury-related absence, as the Yankees will rely primarily on the combination of Tyler Austin and Neil Walker to handle the position.
“We’re going to stay with what we have currently,” Cashman said by phone Tuesday. “We feel we are covered well there with those guys.
“Walker is a proven guy and Tyler Austin had a great spring. He deserved the right to be on the club, and now because of the injury he’ll get the opportunity.”
Cashman said plans were already in place to have Miguel Andujar play some first base as well as third base in the minors, though he said nothing had been decided about how he’ll split the time at the positions.
“We’re just thankful we believe we’ll get Bird back and able to play again at some point,” Cashman said. “He had surgery today and we do expect him to return and be the same player.”
Bird is expected to be out six to eight weeks at minimum. The Yankees’ GM said Bird’s injury was unrelated, as he understood it, to the foot injury that cost him so much time last year.
“He just had a bone spur (in his ankle) that necessitated action by a surgeon,” Cashman said.
The Yankees signed Walker two weeks ago to a bargain deal of $4 million plus incentives, and while he figured to play mostly second base, his versatility now looks like it could be very important.
“It’s important to have depth,” Cashman said. “You recognize that over 162 games things will go wrong, things will go off course. The Walker is signing is very beneficial to us at this stage.”