Mark Teixeira tests calf in simulated game

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Mark Teixeira hasn’t played since aggravating his left calf strain on September 8, but he’s inching closer to rejoining the Yankees lineup.

According to Meredith Marakovits of YES Network, Teixeira tested his calf today by playing in a simulated game in Tampa, Florida. He took seven at-bats and also played an inning in the field. Depending on how he feels, the plan calls for him to play in another simulated game tomorrow or Saturday.

Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said during a radio appearance last week that he was hoping Teixeira would be able to return this weekend against the Blue Jays, but getting him back by the end of the regular season or the start of the postseason is probably more realistic at this point.

Teixeira, 32, is batting .255/.336/.478 with 23 home runs, 81 RBI and an .814 OPS in 120 games played this season.

Yankees to hire Josh Bard as their new bench coach

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Aaron Boone has no experience as a coach or a manager at any level. As such, some have speculated that he’d hire a more seasoned hand as his bench coach as he begins his first season as Yankees manager. Someone like, say, Eric Wedge, who was a candidate for the job Boone got and who once managed Boone in Cleveland.

Nope. According to MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand, he’s going with Josh Bard.

Bard, 39, was a teammate of Boone’s with the Indians in 2005. He’s not without coaching experience, having spent the last two seasons as the Dodgers’ bullpen coach, but he’s not that Gene Lamont/Don Zimmer-type we often see in the bench coach role.

Which is fine because different managers want different things from their bench coach. Some are strategy guys, helping with in-game decision making. Others are relationship guys who help managers understand all of the dynamics of the clubhouse while they’re worrying more about lineups and stuff. Others are trust guys, who can serve as the manager’s sounding board, among other things. Some are combinations of all of these things. As Feinsand notes in his story, Boone said at his introductory press conference that he’s looking for this:

“I want smart sitting next to me. I want confidence sitting next to me. I want a guy who can walk out into that room and as I talk about relationships I expect to have with my players, I expect that even to be more so with my coaching staff. Whether that is a guy with all kinds of experience or little experience. I am not concerned about that.”