It’s mostly just a paperwork move because rosters have already expanded for September and he wasn’t going to play for a while anyway, but the Yankees have placed first baseman Mark Teixeira on the disabled list with a right shin bruise.
Teixeira suffered the injury on August 17 and started just one game over the next two weeks, all while being “day-to-day.” He’s currently hobbling around on crutches and there’s a very real possibility that Teixeira won’t play again this season, although manager Joe Girardi expressed some optimism that he could be available for late September and the playoffs.
He was having a great bounceback season before fouling the ball off his shin, hitting .255 with 31 homers and a .906 OPS that rates as his highest since Teixeira’s first season with the Yankees in 2009.
“I think you have to really talk about it now. Because I think our hope was that, when we left on that road trip [last week], you would have Tex back by the time we got home [Friday], or even on the road trip. But now, I think you have to think about it because you’re going to see left-handers. There’s left-handers in our division. There’s a lot of division opponents in the last 32 games or whatever we have left. I think you have to start debating the idea.”
Yankees GM Brian Cashman was asked about that too:
“I don’t think he can play first base,” Cashman countered. On Monday, Cashman said that shifting Chase Headley from third base across the diamond was more likely.
A-Rod has played one game at first this year. Yesterday he took some grounders there. Here’s how it went:
Tiebreaker goes to Cashman, methinks.
UPDATE: A picture’s worth a thousand words, I guess. Girardi has seen the light:
Girardi had wanted to use A-Rod at 1B today but conceded, “I just don’t think Alex is ready to do it.”
Yankees first baseman Mark Teixeira has started just one game since fouling a ball off his shin two weeks ago and manager Joe Girardi revealed today that there’s no timetable for his return because the team now thinks the injury is more serious than initially believed.
Girardi told reporters that Teixeira will be on crutches for at least “a few days” and it’s certainly starting to sound like the Yankees fear he may be sidelined for a significant period of time. Girardi expressed optimism that he’ll play again this season, saying it’s a “deep bone bruise” but no fracture was found.
Teixeira has had a tremendous bounceback season, staying healthy enough to play 109 of the Yankees’ first 117 games while hitting .255 with 31 homers and a .906 OPS. He made his first All-Star team since 2009, which is also the last time he topped a .900 OPS.
Rookie Greg Bird has been the primary first baseman in Teixeira’s absence, hitting .250 with two homers and a .721 OPS through 16 games at age 22. Alex Rodriguez seeing time at first base is another option for Girardi, who could then use Carlos Beltran at designated hitter and free up an outfield spot.