New York Yankees Bomber Buzz 8/23/17: The Anatomy Of The Rehab Assignment
NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 11: Starlin Castro #14 of the New York Yankees celebrates with Matt Holliday #17 after hitting a 2-run home run in the fifth inning against the Baltimore Orioles at Yankee Stadium on June 11, 2017 in the Bronx borough of New York City. (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)

The comeback campaigns of Greg Bird, Starlin Castro and Matt Holliday continue down on the farm with differing results.

The expression “rehab assignment” has always been a fascinating choice of words due to the grade-school allusion of the phrase. The “rehab” portion of the expression makes sense because the player is attempting to rehabilitate whatever part of the body has been injured before returning to their job. It’s the “assignment” part that that conjures images of some bogus English homework like having to listen to a book on tape, only to find that the book is Joseph Conrad’s “Heart of Darkness” and the proctor of the novel is Harry Caray.

In the case of the New York Yankees; a guy like Greg Bird would be that perplexing novel, leading to many a sleepless night for manager Joe Girardi and the rest of the Yankees’ brass.

Since joining the RailRiders, Greg Bird has gone 8-for-17  with two big flies. But, there in lies the problem: Bird had only 60 at bats in the bigs this year, and has only had about a third of that number so far in Scranton. For a guy that occupied the three hole in the lineup on Opening Day, that’s simply not enough.

So despite the great first week back to baseball action for the first baseman, the Yankees feel that Bird needs more appearances at the plate before they would consider bringing the slugger back up to the Bronx. Still, his work at the plate has looked really impressive.

A swing like that could seriously improve both the Yanks’ lineup and their chances of catching their rivals from the north.

Castro Close

While Starlin Castro has gone 4-for-15 with the RailRiders over the course of his rehab stint with the Triple-A club, it’s his defense that has shown us that the All-Star second sacker is close to reclaiming his starting spot at the keystone very soon. And thanks to our very own Max Wildstein, you can see what I’m talking about.

During Castro’s absence, Ronald Torreyes has been everything that the Yankees could have asked for, hitting at a .288/.307/.369 clip with three homers and 34 RBI while coming up aces more times than not both offensively and defensively.

Despite Toe’s impressive showing; getting back Castro and his .307/.344/.472 slash line, 12 home runs and 45 RBI, along with that exceptional defense, would definitely extend the lineup and also afford the Yankees to have Toe available to give some of the other Yankee infield regulars a day off when needed.

Holliday Needs a Getaway

When the season began, the Matt Holliday signing looked like the most underrated signing of the offseason. But, a myriad of injuries ranging from a crippling bout with a mono-like virus to a lumbar issue has turned the once promising season into a nightmare for the former World Champion.

Holliday has struggled mightily with High-A Tampa, recording the first hit of his rehab assignment—a single—last night. In four games with the club, he’s gone 1-for-13 with two RBI, two walks and three strikeouts.

Maybe it’s the lack of velocity the pitchers he’s facing have that’s throwing his swing off. Or perhaps there’s more rust for him to shake off than anyone realized.

Either way, it sure looks like Holliday needs a getaway from Tampa—whether it’s to a higher minor-league level or back to the Bronx—and soon.


That’s all for now from Yankee Universe family. Be sure, however, to stay right here at Elite Sports NY for all things New York Yankees.

After losing my eyesight as a result of a brain tumor in 1996, baseball and music ushered me back to reality and led me to who I am today. I turned my love of the game and for my New York Yankees into writing for the best company in sports: Elite Sports NY. i use my Psychology & Music degree from James Madison University to articulate my thoughts in my writing and use my vocal/piano skills to professionally play music in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.