Inbox: Is there a reason for Bird's struggles?

Beat reporter Bryan Hoch answers questions from Bombers fans

Inbox: Is there a reason for Bird's struggles?

What do you make of Greg Bird's struggles? He looks lost. What happened?
-- Owen S., Rehoboth Beach, Del.

There's no way of sugarcoating the early returns on Bird's performance: they have not been pretty. Bird will head into this week's Red Sox series at Fenway Park carrying a .104/.204/.229 slash line, which hardly seems possible considering the way that he was crushing the ball in Spring Training.

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Bryan Hoch has covered the Yankees for MLB.com since 2007. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB.com Columnist

Anthony Castrovince

Castro: Yanks' start revs up rivalry with Sox

New York, Boston set to face off for first time this season at Fenway

Castro: Yanks' start revs up rivalry with Sox

It's early enough that we don't know enough, but there's juice to be squeezed from the Yankees-Red Sox matchup again. Maybe the three-game series that begins on Tuesday night at Fenway Park won't matter as much in the long run as it seems to matter right now, with both clubs within spitting distance of the first-place Orioles, but the fact that it matters at all is a nice change of pace for a rivalry that, in recent years, has existed more out of traditions than tangibles.

For that, we have the Yankees' strong start in what was supposed to be a "rebuild" year to thank. Inter-organizational honesty and sensible sanity prevailed when the Yanks were summer sellers in 2016 for the first time in a generation, and the improvement from that point has been stark enough that people in the industry are already beginning to wonder if this club might be a buyer here in 2017.

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Anthony Castrovince has been a reporter for MLB.com since 2004. Read his columns and follow him on Twitter at @Castrovince. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Montgomery displaying confidence, control

Yankees impressed with rookie's ability to limit damage vs. Pirates

Montgomery displaying confidence, control

PITTSBURGH -- It was Jordan Montgomery's best start of the three he has made this season in his brief Yankees career, but the rookie left-hander found little comfort in that on Sunday. New York lost the game and, by his own admission, he wasn't very good.

"I really never had everything going," Montgomery said. "I never expect to have everything, but I didn't have much today, at all. I tried to battle and keep us in it."

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Bob Cohn is a contributor to MLB.com based in Pittsburgh, who covered the Yankees on Sunday. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Ells, Montgomery not enough in Yanks' loss

Ells, Montgomery not enough in Yanks' loss

PITTSBURGH -- Yes, that's the same Ivan Nova. Facing his former team for the first time, Nova put together the kind of performance he's become known for since joining the Pirates, firing seven efficient innings and leading the Bucs to a 2-1 victory and series win over the Yankees on Sunday afternoon at PNC Park.

Nova, a Yankee from the time he signed out of the Dominican Republic in 2004 until he was traded this past August, held New York to four hits and a walk while striking out seven. He confidently pounded the strike zone, as he's done with confidence for the Pirates and worked quickly, two staples of his 15 starts with the Pirates.

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Adam Berry has covered the Pirates for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook, read his blog and listen to his podcast.

Bob Cohn is a contributor to MLB.com based in Pittsburgh, who covered the Yankees on Sunday.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Girardi: 'Didi is our shortstop'

Gregorius will start games upon return from DL

Girardi: 'Didi is our shortstop'

PITTSBURGH -- Yankees manager Joe Girardi did not hesitate when asked if injured shortstop Didi Gregorius will start when he returns to the lineup.

"Didi is our shortsop," Girardi said Sunday. "If I do pick my days to give Didi off, it'l probably be against tough left-handers."

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Bob Cohn is a contributor to MLB.com based in Pittsburgh, who covered the Yankees on Sunday. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Yankees unveil stadium upgrades, new food

Ballpark menu offers something for every fan attending a game

Yankees unveil stadium upgrades, new food

NEW YORK -- The 2017 season is underway for the Yankees, who not only have a new-look team but an improved fan experience in the form of many stadium enhancements and a new dining menu for everyone.

The club held its What's New at Yankee Stadium event for media before the season. Highlights included a new children's area; a center-field expansion where gathering spaces replace many obstructed-view seats; new Budweiser Party Decks; an additional 200,000 tickets in 2017 all priced at $15 or less; phone charging stations galore; new food items; and much more.

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Mark Newman is enterprise editor of MLB.com and a baseball writer since 1990. Read and join other baseball fans on his MLB.com community blog. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Severino, Yanks travel to Fenway for opener

Severino, Yanks travel to Fenway for opener

The Yankees started off better than most expected, while the Red Sox -- predicted by many to win the American League East -- have struggled a bit. Injuries and the flu have taken a toll, but that won't affect the intensity of the rivalry when the clubs meet for for the first time this season Tuesday at Fenway Park.

"We know they're extremely talented," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. "They've been through all kinds of things in the first month of the season, whether it's been injuries or the flu bug or whatever. They've been through a lot. Our club went through a cold, a lot of guys had colds, but our guys weren't getting dehydrated. But they're very talented, we understand that."

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Bob Cohn is a contributor to MLB.com based in Pittsburgh, who covered the Yankees on Sunday. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Judge draws high praise for moonshot

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Judge draws high praise for moonshot

Mere days after making headlines with a monster homer at his home park, Yankees slugger Aaron Judge took his show on the road. During Saturday afternoon's 11-5 victory over the Pirates, Judge crushed an impressive blast at PNC Park in Pittsburgh.

It was the ninth inning of what was then a 10-5 ballgame, with Pittsburgh's Antonio Bastardo trying to keep the Yankees at bay. Bastardo got ahead in the count, 1-2, but hitters like Judge only need one mistake to do damage. The lefty's next pitch came into Judge's wheelhouse, and the slugger unloaded.

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Yanks break out the bats to overpower Bucs

Yanks break out the bats to overpower Bucs

PITTSBURGH -- Held hitless for 4 2/3 innings Saturday afternoon, the Yankees finally found their bats -- in a big way. Starlin Castro and Chris Carter each launched a three-run homer and Aaron Judge added a monster solo shot in the ninth, leading the Yankees to an 11-5 win at PNC Park. 

While Castro's game-tying homer and Carter's go-ahead blast pushed the Yankees past the Bucs, it was Judge's prodigious shot, his sixth of the season, that had everyone talking after the game. More >

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Bob Cohn is a contributor to MLB.com based in Pittsburgh, who covered the Yankees on Saturday.

Adam Berry has covered the Pirates for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook, read his blog and listen to his podcast.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Carter comes up huge with HR in key spot

First baseman hits decisive three-run homer in 8th vs. Bucs

Carter comes up huge with HR in key spot

PITTSBURGH -- For those wondering why the Yankees signed Chris Carter, the big slugger provided a clue Saturday.

Carter strikes out, a lot. He won't hit for average, and he is not a deft first baseman. He does, however, hit home runs, for distance and with frequency -- he had 41 last season with Milwaukee -- although there was no evidence of that through the first 27 at-bats with his new club. Carter produced just four hits, a triple and three singles, and nine strikeouts.

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Bob Cohn is a contributor to MLB.com based in Pittsburgh. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Frazier's solo homer fuels RailRiders' win

Frazier's solo homer fuels RailRiders' win

Clint Frazier has had Yankees fans abuzz since New York traded for him last July, but he hadn't gotten off to the hottest start to the 2017 season at the plate. As of Saturday, that looks like it might be changing.

One of the team's two uber-prospects along with shortstop Gleyber Torres, Frazier went 2-for-3 with a solo home run for Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, accounting for the only offense in the RailRiders' 1-0 win over the Indianapolis Indians.

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David Adler is a reporter for MLB.com based in New York. Follow him on Twitter at @_dadler. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Struggling Gardner replaced by Hicks Saturday

Struggling Gardner replaced by Hicks Saturday

PITTSBURGH -- Yankees manager Joe Girardi juggled his lineup Saturday, benching left-fielder Brett Gardner and replacing him with Aaron Hicks.

Gardner, who is the longest-tenured Yankee, was hitting .192 after going 0-for-4 in Friday's 6-3 loss to the Pirates. He was 4-for-36 since April 8.

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Bob Cohn is a contributor to MLB.com based in Pittsburgh. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

CC battles, but stuff not sharp vs. Bucs

After effective first 3 starts, lefty allows 4 runs in 5 innings

CC battles, but stuff not sharp vs. Bucs

PITTSBURGH -- It has been a long and scenic road for CC Sabathia, one that might eventually lead to Cooperstown. But the 36-year-old Yankees left-hander required a detour lately before resuming, and he practically reinvented himself.

Sabathia owns more than 2,700 strikeouts in a Major League career that began in 2001 with Cleveland. He won an American League Cy Young Award six years later. But what he had to give up was the big heat that helped produce such accomplishments. His fastball is down to 90 mph on a good day -- and Friday's 6-3 loss to the Pirates was not one of those days.

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Bob Cohn is a contributor to MLB.com based in Pittsburgh and covered the Yankees on Friday. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Yanks jump on Pirates miscues, but fall short

Yanks jump on Pirates miscues, but fall short

PITTSBURGH -- The Pirates committed three errors Friday night, but they were not undone by their defense. Unable to muster any offense as they were swept by the Cardinals in St. Louis, the Bucs powered their way to an early lead then took advantage of a critical seventh-inning error by Castro and beat the Yankees, 6-3, at PNC Park.

With two outs in the seventh and the Pirates clinging to a one-run lead, Andrew McCutchen hit a lazy popup into shallow right field. Starlin Castro settled under the ball, but it bounced out of his glove and found the outfield grass. Shortstop Jordy Mercer scored from first base, and David Freese singled home another valuable insurance run to give the Bucs a three-run edge over the Yankees' dangerous lineup.
 

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Adam Berry has covered the Pirates for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook, read his blog and listen to his podcast.

Bob Cohn is a contributor to MLB.com based in Pittsburgh and covered the Yankees on Friday.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

On mend, Sanchez tops in AL jersey sales

Girardi 'not exactly sure' of timetable for catcher's return, but 'everything is scheduled to be four weeks'

On mend, Sanchez tops in AL jersey sales

PITTSBURGH -- Gary Sanchez, who hasn't played in nearly two weeks and is on the disabled list with a strained right biceps, has just three hits so far this season.

Yet the Yankees catcher, who broke out with a bang as a rookie last season (20 homers in 53 games), has generated more jersey sales than any other American League player, according to MLB.

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Bob Cohn is a contributor to MLB.com based in Pittsburgh and covered the Yankees on Friday. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Judge dread! Slugger shows off scary power

448-foot blast hardest-hit HR at Yankee Stadium

Judge dread! Slugger shows off scary power

NEW YORK -- Historians are still analyzing Mickey Mantle's May 22, 1963, home run at the original Yankee Stadium, which struck the frieze high above right field and is generally accepted as the closest anyone came to hitting a fair ball out of the House that Ruth Built.

Across the street at a new building, Aaron Judge has sparked discussions among his teammates, who believe that the hulking slugger has the power to make some history of his own. Judge's 448-foot moonshot in Wednesday's 9-1 victory over the White Sox offered a tease of what may be yet to come.

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Bryan Hoch has covered the Yankees for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and on Facebook. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Red-hot Yankees hit road full of confidence

Red-hot Yankees hit road full of confidence

NEW YORK -- The Yankees packed for their second road trip having celebrated their best 15-game start in more than a decade, fattening their record with an 8-1 homestand that blended dominant starting pitching with jaw-dropping thump from the big bats.

It took until the season's 27th game for the 2016 Yankees to post their 10th victory, when the calendar had already flipped into May. There's a saying that you can't win a season in April, but you sure can lose it, and these Yankees were able to pull the emergency brake after starting 1-4.

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Bryan Hoch has covered the Yankees for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and on Facebook. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

4 homers back Tanaka in homestand finale

4 homers back Tanaka in homestand finale

NEW YORK -- The Yankees combined tape-measure thunder with a Masahiro Tanaka gem to put the finishing touches on an impressive first homestand, breezing to a 9-1 victory over the White Sox on Wednesday night at Yankee Stadium.

Starlin Castro and Aaron Judge whipped their teammates into a frenzy with back-to-back homers in the fifth inning off rookie Dylan Covey. Chase Headley and Aaron Hicks also went deep for the surging Yanks, who won eight of nine games in their best home showing since July 2009.

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Bryan Hoch has covered the Yankees for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and on Facebook.

Scott Merkin has covered the White Sox for MLB.com since 2003. Read his blog, Merk's Works, follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin, on Facebook and listen to his podcast.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Sanchez throws for first time since injury

Sanchez throws for first time since injury

NEW YORK -- Gary Sanchez moved one step closer to rejoining the Yankees' active roster, reporting no discomfort after playing catch at a distance of 60 feet at Yankee Stadium on Wednesday.

Sanchez has been on the 10-day disabled list since April 8 with a right biceps strain. The Yankees are hopeful that Sanchez can return four weeks from the date of the injury, which he sustained while fouling off a pitch in a game against the Orioles.

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Bryan Hoch has covered the Yankees for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and on Facebook. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Statcast of the Day: Judge vs. Stanton in HRs

Statcast of the Day: Judge vs. Stanton in HRs

For most of the Statcast™ Era, which began in 2015, Marlins slugger Giancarlo Stanton has stood as the undisputed king of exit velocity. But an intriguing challenger to that throne has emerged.

Wednesday provided a striking comparison point. On the West Coast that afternoon, there was Stanton, bludgeoning yet another batted ball over the outfield wall at a speed few can match. And then later that evening, on the East Coast, there was Yankees rookie Aaron Judge, putting his hulking frame into perhaps an even more awe-inspiring blast.

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Andrew Simon is a research analyst for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @AndrewSimonMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Trending upward, Severino strikes out 10

Trending upward, Severino strikes out 10

NEW YORK -- There was one pitch that Luis Severino wished he could bring back from the visiting bullpen, but that hanging slider to Avisail Garcia didn't ruin how the right-hander felt about what otherwise was another very encouraging outing for him and the Yankees.

Severino has racked up the two highest strikeout totals of his career in successive starts, whiffing 10 White Sox over a career-best eight innings in the Yankees' 4-1 loss on Tuesday. Severino struck out 11 batters in his previous outing, a victory over the Rays on Thursday.

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Bryan Hoch has covered the Yankees for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and on Facebook. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Yanks shut out until 9th; win streak ends at 8

Yanks shut out until 9th; win streak ends at 8

NEW YORK -- Leury Garcia and Avisail Garcia mashed homers to support Miguel Gonzalez's masterful outing as the White Sox handed the Yankees their first loss in more than a week, posting a 4-1 victory on Tuesday night at Yankee Stadium.

The Yankees saw their eight-game winning streak -- the longest in the Majors this season -- snapped as they wasted Luis Severino's 10-strikeout performance. The right-hander held the White Sox to a run through the first six innings before Pete Kozma's error opened the door for Avisail Garcia's three-run homer in the seventh.

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Bryan Hoch has covered the Yankees for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and on Facebook.

Scott Merkin has covered the White Sox for MLB.com since 2003. Read his blog, Merk's Works, follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin, on Facebook and listen to his podcast.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

As Yankees roll, more help is on the way

As Yankees roll, more help is on the way

NEW YORK -- The Yankees are off to one of their best starts in years despite not seeing a single at-bat from their starting shortstop, losing their starting catcher in the fifth game of the season and watching their ace post an 8.36 ERA through his first three outings.

Any one of those items concerning Didi Gregorius, Gary Sanchez and Masahiro Tanaka could have posed a significant problem, but instead, the Yankees entered play on Tuesday on an eight-game run that represents their longest April winning streak since 2000.

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Bryan Hoch has covered the Yankees for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and on Facebook. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Widener sets career high in strikeouts

Widener sets career high in strikeouts

Any lingering concerns regarding Lewis Brinson's health were quashed by his performance on Tuesday night. Playing in just his fifth game since returning from a dislocated pinky finger, the Brewers' No. 1 prospect recorded four hits, including his second home run, and five RBIs to pace Triple-A Colorado Springs in a 14-4 win over Memphis.

Brinson, ranked 16th on MLBPipeline.com's Top 100 Prospects list, flied out in his first at-bat before giving the Sky Sox the lead with a run-scoring double in the bottom of the second inning. He connected on a three-run home run to left field off of Redbirds right-hander Chris Ellis (Cardinals' No. 28 prospect) in the following frame and then tacked on a pair of singles in the seventh and eighth innings to finish 4-for-6 at the plate.

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Mike Rosenbaum is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @GoldenSombrero. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB.com Columnist

Richard Justice

Generation Y not? Yanks have pieces to win

Veterans stepping up, prospects contributing big during streak

Generation Y not? Yanks have pieces to win

This is what an eight-game winning streak gets you: confidence, momentum and good vibes. That's true for every team, especially early in a season. That's emphatically true for the New York Yankees, who are trying to do one of the toughest things any team can do.

That is, transition to younger players while remaining competitive.

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Richard Justice is a columnist for MLB.com. You can follow him on Twitter @richardjustice. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

They 8 it up: Yanks extend streak with HRs

They 8 it up: Yanks extend streak with HRs

NEW YORK -- Matt Holliday and Aaron Judge homered to support Jordan Montgomery's first Major League win and run the Yankees' winning streak to eight games in a 7-4 victory over the White Sox on Monday night at Yankee Stadium.

Holliday hit a three-run shot as part of a five-run third inning and Judge added a two-run drive in the fifth to support the rookie left-hander, who carried a shutout into the seventh inning.

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Bryan Hoch has covered the Yankees for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch, on Facebook and read his MLBlog, Bombers Beat.

Scott Merkin has covered the White Sox for MLB.com since 2003. Read his blog, Merk's Works, follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin, on Facebook and listen to his podcast.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Statcast of the Day: Holliday hits HR 113 mph

Statcast of the Day: Holliday hits HR 113 mph

NEW YORK -- Matt Holliday's back appears to be just fine.

Sidelined for two games with lower back stiffness, the Yankees' designated hitter returned to the lineup on Monday to crush the second-longest homer hit in the Majors this year, a three-run shot to left field that traveled 459 feet, according to Statcast™, in the Yankees' 7-4 win over the White Sox that extended their winning streak to eight games.

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Bryan Hoch has covered the Yankees for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch, on Facebook and read his MLBlog, Bombers Beat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.