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Question Time: Does Greg Bird Make the Team?

MLB: Spring Training-Toronto Blue Jays at Atlanta Braves Jonathan Dyer-USA TODAY Sports

Since I’m not going to be getting to Greg Bird in the run-through of the 40-man roster, I figured we should talk about him, being he is starting to look like he could make the team.

When the Blue Jays signed him in mid-March, I didn’t give it much thought. Teams sign guys like Bird to minor league contracts every spring, and generally, they don’t make the team. They are depth. They play Triple-A waiting for an injury to open a spot. Or for another team to have an opening, and they opt out. Or they go to Japan.

But the Jays haven’t found the left-handed bat they were looking for, and Bird has been excellent this spring, hitting .333/.478/.722 with 2 home runs in 23 PA. In real terms, whatever you do in 23 at-bats should mean nothing.

Greg came up through the Yankees’ system. He looked pretty good, maybe not a top 100 prospect, though Keith Law had him #80 on his list back in 2015, but a good prospect. Law said:

Bird’s swing is very short to the ball, and he accelerates his hands quickly for hard contact to all fields, rarely putting the ball on the ground because he squares it up so frequently. He’s a high-IQ hitter with outstanding plate discipline and understanding of how to work a pitcher, giving reason to think he’ll continue to post high OBPs even though he’ll probably hit only .250-260 with a lot of strikeouts.

And he had a pretty good rookie season that year, hitting .261/.343/.529 with 11 home runs in 46 games.

But, before the 2016 season, he had a torn labrum and missed the season. In 2017 there were more injuries, but he hit a home run in game 3 of the ALDS (the only run in a 1-0 game). 2018, 2019, 2020, more injuries.

Last year he hit .267/.362/.532 with 27 home runs in 112 games at Triple-A Albuquerque, where Bugs Bunny kept making wrong turns).

I wouldn’t grab him up in OOTP Baseball with his injury past. But in real life? Just because a guy has had injury issues doesn’t always mean he will continue to have them.

Anyway, he’s 29 now, still in his prime. So it’s kind of hard not to talk about him in the way scouts spoke in the first ten minutes of Moneyball, but he’s big (6’4”, a good target at first base), he’s good-looking, I’d imagine his girlfriend is very good looking.

The Jays will likely be facing as many RHP as teams can arrange to put on the mound, so a strong lefty bat might be a good thing. I do dislike the thought that he would take at-bats away from Alejandro Kirk, but the Jays don’t seem to care about my dislikes.

PECOTA figures him to play 80 games and hit .213/.302/.379 with 8 home runs. As much as I’d hate to argue with PECOTA’s logic, if he hits just .213 there is no way he’ll get into 80 games.

Anyway, let’s ask the question:

Poll

Will Greg Bird make the active roster out of spring training?

This poll is closed

  • 87%
    Yes
    (1192 votes)
  • 12%
    No
    (173 votes)
1365 votes total Vote Now

Poll

If the over/under on games played is 80 I’d take the

This poll is closed

  • 29%
    Over
    (355 votes)
  • 70%
    Under
    (835 votes)
1190 votes total Vote Now

Poll

If the over/under for Bird’s batting average is .250 I’d take the

This poll is closed

  • 54%
    Over
    (656 votes)
  • 45%
    Under
    (540 votes)
1196 votes total Vote Now