TAMPA – One day you're Gary Sanchez and Aaron Judge. You're Miguel Andujar and Gleyber Torres.
You are today and tomorrow, and somehow it happens so fast that you are not trying to be yesterday.
Greg Bird arrived late in the 2015 season and with a perishable bat after the other seemed to settle for long-term residence as the first base man of the Yankee. He was 22 and he now says how much he was looking forward to seeing all the talented boys he played with minors, joining him in majors.
Instead, they have passed him and it also has Luke Voit, who was not even a yankee until last July last season. The pages are turned quickly in the big ones ̵
"I wish I was sitting here and I had been playing the last three seasons, and this conversation was about the last three seasons," said Bird on Wednesday morning. "But I did not."
In this first base competition, Bird is the one who tries to prove that he is not fragile, having missed so much of the past three years with injury. Voit longs to demonstrate that he was not fluke after launching 14 homers in 132 seasonal Yankees at bats. It gives this an expression of the Yankee's nostalgia – Nick Johnson versus Shane Spencer: The sweet-swinging left-wing first baseman who couldn't stay on the pitch against the stubborn righty outfielder who arrived late in 1998 as a homer-hit meteor without reaching those heights again.
Bird and Voit are aware of the comparisons. Bird said, "I hope my story is a little different." While Voit explained, "I don't want to respect [Spencer] but I'd like to make my own name. I'd like to be Luke Voit. Look, I understand it, the guy came up and had an incredible end to the season in the postseason and helped them to win a World Series, but I will not be a fluke. I want to show the world, show New York City and show baseball that I can beat and beat really well in the big leagues. "
Brian Cashman has nominated Voit favorite In honor of its quick 2018 climb to the middle of the Yankee lineup. "But" Cashman said, "I come from a horse racing background, and I know every race has a favorite, and that doesn't mean the race is running that way."
And, in fact, the Yanks fit better if Bird wins. With Didi Gregorius in a couple of months, shot shooting Aaron Hicks and Brett Gardner are the lonely lefties unless the Bird does the club. In this scenario, DJ LeMahieu becomes righty, starting against lefties, and the roster has greater flexibility with the plan to take 13 jars.
But Aaron Boone and Cashman insist on best man wins – no edges to the left. The Yankees also handled righty pitching fine last season and Voit pummeled it (1,015 OPS).
Voit, built as a soft drink with arms, cannot see the part, but insists that he is a good hitter, not just a burly power guy. The Yankee analytical department, which found underlying elements of Aaron Hicks and Chad Green to encourage trading, looked the same with Voit; probably he thinks he was not 2018 fluke.
"My goal is to win the job and become the first baseman in the New York Yankees," Voit said. "It's nothing against Greg. I want to be on this team and I'll help them win [championship] No. 28."
Bird's goals are the same and declare his mind and body in the right place for clashes . He called 2016 when he missed the whole year for shoulder surgery to be the worst because he had just opened the door in 2015. He was brilliant in the spring of 2017, fouled a ball from his foot late, never got right, needed surgery, but was still the hitter of that year's ALCS, Astros tried to avoid. Last spring, he knew the ankle was still damaged. But he continued to tell Yankee officials that everything was good – such is life when you try to reject a damaging label.
Finally, he needed more surgery to remove a spur. His season was largely destroyed. Voit appeared and took his job in 2018, now maybe beyond. In the spring, those who assess Bird noted that his legs are left in his swing and there is more muscle in his upper half.
"I will honestly take this spring during the spring, any week of the week," Bird said. "I am healthy. I want to be healthy and have a normal spring and not be penciled in [as the starter] about being penciled in and not being healthy."
He tries to prove that he is not fragile that he does not is happy. Is this Nick Johnson and Shane Spencer 2.0 or two quality first basemen around making a difficult choice for the Yankees?