BOSTON — As Yankees general manager Brian Cashman put it Friday, “The bar has been set very low in 2017 to help us [at first base].”
Given that measuring stick, and a six-game sample size, Ji-Man Choi has lived up to the hype.
A fourth-inning sacrifice fly gave the Yankees the lead, and then he hit a ground-rule double to right with one out in the sixth, although he was stranded at third.
He’s not exactly Yonder Alonso, who remains a potential trade candidate in Oakland — but since being recalled from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre after Chris Carter was let go, Choi has driven in five runs and played at least a serviceable first base — something else that has been difficult for the Yankees to find this season.
The lefty-swinging Choi went into the nightcap of Sunday’s doubleheader 4-for-13 against right-handers, with a double and two homers. He had just two plate appearances against southpaws and was 0-for-2 with a strikeout.
His righty-hitting counterpart, Garrett Cooper, looked overmatched in his first two games, but the Yankees are reluctant to let Choi play against lefties.
Tyler Austin remains on the disabled list with a strained hamstring, and there’s still no predicting when Greg Bird might come back from the ankle injury that has kept him out for over two months.
So for now, the Yankees have turned to Choi.
“I feel good right now,” Choi said through an interpreter. “I just follow the same routine. It feels pretty good right now. I’ll try to stay hot and keep the momentum [going].”
And after watching the Yankees go through a virtually endless amount of candidates at first, from Bird and Carter to…