11:27 PM: According to Sweeny Murti of WFAN, Mark Teixeira said he was diagnosed with a Grade 1 calf strain and thinks he could be out anywhere from one to two weeks. Of course, it’s possible he could miss more time.
11:10 PM: No word yet on the MRI results, but Yankees manager Joe Girardi told Jack Curry of YES Network that Teixeira is unlikely to play in at least the next five games.
9:10 PM ET: Mark Teixeira’s left wrist has been a nagging issue for the past month, but now he has another injury to deal with.
Bryan Hoch of MLB.com reports that Teixeira exited tonight’s game against the Blue Jays after four innings with a left calf strain and was sent to New York-Presbyterian Hospital to undergo an MRI.
Teixeira appeared to tweak something during his at-bat in the fourth inning. He finished the at-bat and eventually drew a walk, but limped around the bases when he scored on an RBI single by Russell Martin. Eric Chavez replaced him at first base to begin the fifth inning while Jayson Nix entered the game to play third.
Teixeira is hitting .255/.355/.478 with 23 home runs, 81 RBI and an .813 OPS in 119 games this season. The Yankees could shuffle through a number of options at first base if he requires an extended absence, including Nick Swisher, Eric Chavez, Casey McGehee and the newly-acquired Steve Pearce.
Veteran utilityman Reid Brignac is in camp with the Astros on a minor league deal. The 31-year-old is close to being done as a major leaguer as he owns a career .219/.264/.309 triple-slash line across parts of nine seasons. In an effort to prolong his big league career, Brignac is now attempting to become a switch-hitter, MLB.com’s Brian McTaggart reports.
I’m going to try it out this year. It was something that I just thought long and hard about and I was like, ‘OK, I’m going to try and see how it goes.’ I used to switch-hit when I was younger off and on, nothing consistent. I could always handle the bat right-handed. I play golf right-handed, so I do a lot of things that way that feel natural.
I just want to get to the point where I’m trying to stay in games, not get pinch-hit for, not starting games because a lefty is starting. … That could help me stay in the games longer. I’m trying to add a new element. I play multiple positions and now if I can switch hit and be consistent at it, then that can only help me.
As Brignac mentions, he’s also verstile. He’s a shortstop by trade, but has also logged plenty of innings at second base and third base, and has occasionally played corner outfield.
There aren’t any examples — at least that I can think of — where players began switch-hitting late in their careers and actually succeeding in the major leagues. As the saying goes, you can’t teach an old dog new tricks. But here’s hoping Brignac bucks the trend.
Angels shortstop Andrelton Simmons fell off the map a bit last year due to a combination of the Angels’ mediocrity, Simmons’ lack of offense, and a month-plus of missed action due to a torn ligament in his left thumb.
Simmons is still as good and as smart as ever on defense. That was on full display Monday when the Angels hosted the Padres for an afternoon spring exhibition.
With a runner on first base and nobody out in the top of the second inning, Carlos Asuaje grounded a 2-0 J.C. Ramirez fastball to right field. The runner, Hunter Renfroe, advanced to third base. Meanwhile, Asuaje wandered a little too far off the first base bag. Simmons cut off the throw to first base, spun around and fired to Luis Valbuena at first base. Valbuena swiped the tag on Asuaje for the first out of the inning.