Mark Teixeira says he is well past hamstring injury

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Yankees first baseman Mark Teixeira suffered a Grade 2 strain of his right hamstring during the Bomber’s ALCS matchup with the Rangers last October and was forced to sit idle for the first six to eight weeks of the offseason.

It’s December now, of course, and Tex spoke to ESPN New York on Tuesday about his recovery.

Long story short?  Everything is going well and he should be back to full strength by the start of spring training in late February.

“It actually worked out great because I spent the first month of the off-season, which is usually an active rest period for me… I took that month as my rehab month,” Teixeira said. “And then once December 1st came I was lifting weights and running full speed.”

The 30-year-old also battled thumb and toe injuries over the final month or so of the 2010 season and wound up with a relatively unremarkable .256/.365/.481 batting line.  He’s hoping for a 2011 season of complete health and better offensive results.

Anibal Sanchez accepts optional assignment to Triple-A

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The Tigers announced on Monday that pitcher Anibal Sanchez has accepted an optional assignment to Triple-A Toledo. Pitcher Warwick Saupold was recalled from Toledo to take Sanchez’s roster spot.

Sanchez, 33, continued to struggle this season pitching out of the bullpen. He gave up 26 runs (21 earned) on 34 hits and nine walks with 22 strikeouts in 21 innings. Nine of those 34 hits were home runs. Sanchez finished the 2015 season with a 4.99 ERA and last season with a 5.87 ERA, so he’s had a rough go of it in recent years.

The decision to go to Triple-A was Sanchez’s, Anthony Fenech of the Free Press reports. Sanchez wants to be stretched out as a starting pitcher again.

Braves release James Loney

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Just a few days after inking him to a minor league deal, the Braves have released first baseman James Loney, the team announced on Monday. Loney became expendable when the Braves acquired Matt Adams from the Cardinals on Saturday as a replacement for the injured Freddie Freeman.

Loney, 33, appeared in two games at Triple-A Gwinnett. He had one hit, a single, and one walk in eight plate appearances.

Loney will likely have to wait for another team to deal with an injured first baseman or DH before he can secure another contract.