It was painful to watch. And it was downright inspirational to see him do his best to make it to first base. But as he was crumbling towards the bag, I couldn’t help but feel for the guy. As soon as the trainers came out it seemed clear that Mark Teixeira’s game was over. As soon as he needed help to get back to the dugout it seemed like his season was over. And now we know for a fact that it is: Teixeira had an MRI last night and was diagnosed with a Grade 2 hamstring strain that will keep him sidelined for six to eight weeks.
It’s a shame to see his season end like that. Especially given how poorly he hit in the ALCS. Teixeira is so supremely talented a hitter than you just knew he was going to break out of his funk eventually. Maybe with him the daunting task facing the Yankees — coming back from a 3-1 deficit — wouldn’t seem quite as daunting. Even if he didn’t hit a lick the rest of the way, how valuable is that glove at first base?
I don’t believe in signs and portents, but when Teixeira got hurt last night, the air seemed to come out of the Yankees. And it definitely came out of the crowd. Even on TV I could hear an audible, collective gasp as he stayed on the ground following the play. I can only imagine how it felt to be there, watching it. It was probably the most depressing part of a supremely depressing night for Yankees fans.
We learned on Monday that Hyun-Jin Ryu won one of the final two spots in the Dodgers’ starting rotation. Brandon McCarthy has won the other, Bill Plunkett of the Orange County Register reports. Alex Wood was McCarthy’s competitor for the spot.
McCarthy, 33, posted a 4.85 ERA across four appearances spanning 13 innings this spring, yielding seven earned runs on 14 hits and a walk with seven strikeouts. Wood, a southpaw, gave up five earned runs in six innings against the Reds on Tuesday, which might have factored into the decision.
Last season, McCarthy made nine starts and one relief appearance, posting a 4.95 ERA with a 44/26 K/BB ratio in 40 innings. In the event McCarthy falters, the club has Wood as well as Julio Urias and the injured Scott Kazmir as potential replacements.
The Yankees have re-signed pitcher Jon Niese to a minor league contract, George A. King III of the New York Post reports. Niese was released on Sunday, but he’ll stick around and provide rotation depth for the Yankees.
Niese had knee surgery last August and got a late start to spring training as a result. In six spring appearances lasting an inning each, the lefty gave up three earned runs on five hits and a walk with five strikeouts.
Niese, a veteran of nine seasons, put up an aggregate 5.50 ERA with an 88/47 K/BB ratio in 121 innings last season between the Pirates and Mets.