Greg Bird’s downfall continues as he fails to make Rangers roster

It’s another step in Greg Bird’s downfall. The former heralded Yankees prospect did not make the Texas Rangers’ Opening Day 30-man roster after hitting just .152 in 46 intrasquad at bats during spring training 2.0. Once expected to become the next franchise first baseman in the Bronx, Bird now finds himself with the practice squad …

It’s another step in Greg Bird’s downfall.

The former heralded Yankees prospect did not make the Texas Rangers’ Opening Day 30-man roster after hitting just .152 in 46 intrasquad at bats during spring training 2.0.

Once expected to become the next franchise first baseman in the Bronx, Bird now finds himself with the practice squad in Texas.

Bird played 186 total games with the Yankees from 2015 to 2019, recording just a .211 batting average and .725 OPS in the pros. He played just 10 games in 2019.

In 2015, Bird was ranked as the No. 3 first baseman prospect in the league by MLB.com, and the team’s No. 3 overall prospect by Fangraphs. Bird opted for free agency last November after the Yankees assigned him to Triple-A, and he signed with Texas in February.

Two-year veteran Ronald Guzman beat out Bird for the backup first-base job in Texas. The competition wasn’t exactly a clash of the titans: in 210 total games with the Rangers, Guzman owns a .229 batting average and .722 OPS, and hit just .111 in 36 intrasquad at bats.

Greg BirdGetty Images

“As it stands right now, nobody has been able to distance themselves,” Rangers manager Chris Woodward told reporters on Sunday. “Clearly we need a first baseman… If either one of those pick it up a little bit, they could find themselves kind of taking on that role. Especially with the left-handed bat. We need that. It’s unfortunate. I know both of them are trying too hard.”

Bird’s former Yankees teammate Todd Frazier will serve as the team’s everyday first baseman. Frazier has primarily played third base throughout his career, but has been featured at first on a handful of occasions, and third baseman Isiah Kiner-Falefa’s strong camp opened the door for him to make the move.

“I welcome it with open arms,” Frazier told reporters Sunday. “Whatever helps the team. I know Isiah has had a heckuva spring training and summer camp. Kiner reminds me of myself first coming up. He’s a guy who you got to put out there. We have to put him at third and I’ve got to jump to first, so be it. It’s exciting. I’m happy for him and it just makes our team that much better.”

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