Yankees first baseman Mark Teixeira aggravated his troublesome left calf on the final play of Saturday night’s 5-4 loss to the Orioles. And there’s some concern that it was more than just a tweak.
According to Bryan Hoch of MLB.com, Teixeira will undergo an MRI on the calf Monday and has already been ruled out for the Yankees’ entire three-game series with the Red Sox that begins on Tuesday night. If the exam reveals another strain, it’s possible that he will be done for the rest of the regular season.
Steven Pearce, a .237/.309/.375 career hitter in the major leagues, is starting at first base in Sunday afternoon’s series finale with Baltimore. The Yanks are currently tied with the O’s atop the AL East.
Teixeira, 32, is batting .255/.336/.478 with 23 home runs and 81 RBI in 509 plate appearances this season.
Yankees’ special advisor and former outfielder Hideki Matsui expects to help the club “convince or recruit” Japanese two-way star Shohei Otani, according to a report from MLB.com’s Deesha Thosar. The Yankees are currently viewed as the favorites to sign Otani, though there still figures to be plenty of competition for his services when he finally becomes eligible to enter Major League Baseball.
Matsui also told Thosar that while he hasn’t seen a player find success as a hybrid pitcher/slugger in the majors, he’s taken notice of Otani’s success in both areas. “He’s done well in Japan, so as a baseball fan I’m looking forward to how he’s going to do here in the Majors and in the U.S.,” Matsui said, later adding, “If [pitching and hitting is] something he wants to do, and the team wants it, then why not?”
Neither the Yankees nor any other suitor should be too concerned with Otani’s ability to translate his .332 batting average and 3.20 ERA to MLB — at least, not just yet. There are still a few roadblocks in his path to the major leagues, most notably the lack of approval from the Players Association. Per FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman, the union doesn’t want to sign off on an agreement that would give the Nippon Ham Fighters a $20 million posting fee in exchange for Otani’s services. According to the posting system rules, Otani himself would be eligible to receive no more than a $4 million signing bonus.
The good news in all of this? The union agreed to reach a final decision by Monday, November 21, so there’s still a chance Major League Baseball will see the talented two-way player bring his unique skillset to the field in 2018.