As expected Mark Teixeira is back in the Yankees’ lineup after sitting out 20 straight games and 30 of the past 31 games with a calf injury, playing for the first time since September 8.
In his absence the Yankees initially turned to Casey McGehee, Steve Pearce, and Eric Chavez at first base, but recently they relied on Nick Swisher as their primary first baseman.
Bryan Hoch of MLB.com reports that Teixeira feels better now than he did in returning from his initial calf injury, which is important considering it was aggravating the injury that led to the 20-game absence.
He’s playing first base and batting fifth tonight against the Red Sox.
Nathan Eovaldi hasn’t pitched in a month due to right elbow inflammation, but he told Chad Jennings of the Journal News today that he expects to pitch out of the bullpen if the Yankees advance to the ALDS against the Royals.
Eovaldi was originally expected to throw a 35-pitch bullpen session today, but the Yankees moved up his timetable after the news that CC Sabathia was checking into alcohol rehab. Instead, he threw 10 pitches in a bullpen session before facing hitters for the first time since his injury.
There isn’t enough time for Eovaldi to get stretched out to start during the ALDS, but he could still play an important role for the Yankees, especially with Adam Warren looking like the most likely option to replace Sabathia in the rotation.
Yadier Molina suffered a mild ligament tear in his left thumb on September 20, but the Cardinals announced Monday that they remain “optimistic” he’ll be on the roster for the upcoming NLDS.
Molina visited a hand specialist Monday and Jenifer Langosch of MLB.com reports that he’ll have a custom splint built in hopes that he’ll be able to hit and catch. He’s still not 100 percent, but even a limited Molina could be better than the alternative. That would be Tony Cruz in this case.
The Cardinals will meet the winner of Wednesday’s Wild Card game between the Cubs and the Pirates. Game 1 of the NLDS will take place Friday at 6:30 p.m. ET in St. Louis.