NEW YORK -- Greg Bird has refused to use his bruised right ankle as an excuse for his performance at the plate, but because the Yankees have not seen significant improvement over the last month, they opted on Tuesday to place the first baseman on the 10-day disabled list.
Bird is 6-for-60 (.100) in 19 games since sustaining the injury fouling a ball off himself in a March 30 exhibition against the Phillies in Clearwater, Fla. Bird had an MRI on Tuesday that revealed a bone bruise, and the 24-year-old is expected to rest for seven to 10 days with no baseball activities.
"I love playing and I wanted to try and go out and play," Bird said. "I tried to get through it as best as I could, but it's frustrating. I definitely think I'm better than what I've showed, and I know I've said that. I know what I'm capable of."
Infielder Rob Refsnyder was recalled from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre and could see time at first base as a backup to Chris Carter. The Yankees also recalled left-hander Chasen Shreve from Triple-A while optioning right-hander Luis Cessa, one day after he threw 55 pitches in a 7-1 loss to the Blue Jays.
Yankees manager Joe Girardi said that Tuesday's MRI was the second that Bird has had since the injury. Girardi said that Bird seemed to be showing less explosiveness in his lower half on Monday, when he went 0-for-4 with a strikeout, a view that hitting coach Alan Cockrell concurred with.
"We talked after the game, and we felt that we just need to give this some time," Girardi said. "A bone bruise can take months and months to heal. Players deal with them all the time. He just felt like his ankle wasn't working properly. Yesterday was the first day I really, really noticed."
After sitting out all of 2016 while recovering from right shoulder labrum surgery, Bird enjoyed a monster spring, matching the Nationals' Bryce Harper for the Major League lead with eight Grapefruit League homers.
He homered in the Yanks' final exhibition on April 1 at Atlanta but was unable to carry that success into the regular season, despite trying various forms of treatment, including ice, socks, tapes and wraps.
"I've gone through stretches where things are off, and this, I just couldn't ever find it," Bird said. "It was just real inconsistent. So frustrating."
The situation has reminded many of an injury that sidelined Mark Teixeira late in the 2015 season, which was initially diagnosed as a bone bruise and later diagnosed to be a season-ending fracture. Girardi said that he believes that Bird's case will not have the same outcome.
"We're pretty confident there are no breaks, but bone bruises, they're tricky," Girardi said. "As I said, they can last months. I just thought he looked different. And he's on the DL."
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.