TAMPA – One day you are Gary Sanchez and Aaron Judge. You are Miguel Andujar and Gleyber Torres.
You are today and tomorrow and, very quickly, it happens so fast that you try not to be yesterday.
Greg Bird arrived at the end of the 2015 season and, match after match, he seemed to establish himself for a long time as a Yankees first baseman. He was 22 years old and now he says how eager he was to see all these talented players with whom he played in the miners join him in the majors.
Instead, they overtook him, just like Luke Voit, who was not even a Yankee before July of last season. The pages turn fast in the majors – one day you are 22 years old with an unlimited future, the next Luke Voit is in front of you on the depth map; loser goes to minors.
"I would have liked to be sitting here and having played the last three seasons, this conversation was about the last three seasons," Bird said Wednesday. "But I did not do it."
In this first-goal competition, it's Bird who is trying to prove that he's not frail, having missed so many injuries in the last three years. Voit aspires to demonstrate that it was not a coincidence after throwing 14 home runs at the 132 Yankees late in the season. Nick Johnson vs. Shane Spencer: The left-handed first-baseman who swayed well, who could not stay on the field against the stocky right-handed player who arrived at the end of 1998 as a meteor hitting the client, never to reach them heights again.
Bird and Voit are aware of the comparisons. Bird said: "I hope my story will be a little different". While Voit explained, "I do not want to disrespect [Spencer]but I want to make my own name. I want to be Luke Voit. Listen, I understand, the guy has arrived and has had an incredible end to the playoff season and helped them win a world series, but I do not want to be a coincidence. I want to show the world, show in New York and baseball that I can hit and hit very well in the majors. "
Brian Cashman named Voit as a favorite in honor of his swift rise in 2018 in the midst of the Yankee lineup. "But," said Cashman, "I come from a horse racing community and I know that every race has a favorite and that does not mean that the race is going that way."
And, in fact, the Yankees will adapt better if Bird wins. With Didi Gregorius out for a few months, Aaron Hicks and Brett Gardner are the only left-handers, unless Bird joins the club. In this scenario, DJ LeMahieu becomes the right-hander who starts against lefties and the training has greater flexibility with the plan to take 13 pitchers.
But Aaron Boone and Cashman insist that the best man wins – no advantage for left-handed. In addition, the Yankees handled the right throw well last season and saw it pummeled (1,015 OPS).
Sees, which is built like a soda machine with arms, might not look like it, but insists that he's a good hitter, not just a beefy one. Yankee's analytical department, which found underlying elements at Aaron Hicks and Chad Green to encourage transactions, saw the same with Voit; enough for him to think he was not a flounder 2018.
"My goal is to get the job and become the first baseman from the New York Yankees," Voit said. "It's nothing against Greg. I want to be part of this team and I want to help them win [championship] No. 28. "
Bird's goals are the same and declare his mind and body in the right place for the shock. He called 2016 when he missed a year of operation at the shoulder because he had just opened his door in 2015. He was brilliant in the spring of 2017, sent a Ball late on the foot, was never right, had to be operated, but was still the hitter in ALCS this year the Astros were trying to avoid. Last spring, he knew that the ankle was still damaged. But he went on to tell Yankee officials that everything was fine – that is life when you try to reject a label that could hurt you.
Eventually, he needed more surgery to remove a spur. His season has been fundamentally ruined. Voit arrived and took his job in 2018, perhaps beyond. This spring, however, those who rated Bird noticed that his legs were back in his tracks and that there was more muscle in his upper half.
"Honestly, I would take this spring for last spring, any day of the week," Bird said. "I am in good health, I will be in good health and have a normal spring and not be sketched [as the starter] on being in pencil and not being healthy. "
He tries to prove that he is not fragile, sees that it is not a coincidence. Will Nick Johnson and Shane Spencer 2.0 or two top quality players be on the verge of creating a tough pick for the Yankees?