Yankees slugger Mark Teixeira is making slow but steady progress in his recovery from a calf strain.
According to Dan Martin of the New York Post, the first baseman took batting practice, fielded grounders and did some light running on Saturday afternoon at Yankee Stadium for the first time since suffering the injury on September 8. He reported no abnormal pain or discomfort during or after the workout and will aim to intensify those three activities later this week.
“Overall, it’s getting better a little bit each day,” Teixeira told reporters.
The 32-year-old is batting .255/.336/.478 with 23 home runs, 27 doubles and 81 RBI in 120 games played this season. The Yankees are optimistic that he’ll be ready before the end of the regular season.
Dodgers catcher Yasmani Grandal has not had a good postseason. Entering Monday night’s NLCS Game 3, he was batting .111/.238/.278 in 21 trips to the plate across the NLDS and the first two games of the NLCS.
Defense has also been an issue for Grandal. In Game 1 of the NLCS, Grandal was on the hook for two passed balls. In the sixth inning of Game 3 Monday night, he couldn’t corral a curve in the dirt, which allowed Travis Shaw to score the Brewers’ second run of the night. Starter Walker Buehler was charged with a wild pitch. In the eighth, with Ryan Braun on first base and Shaw at the plate, Grandal again couldn’t corral a pitch in the dirt, allowing Braun to move to second base. Fortunately for the Dodgers, Alex Wood was able to escape the inning with no damage.
Manager Dave Roberts said that Austin Barnes, not Grandal, will start behind the plate for Game 4 on Tuesday night, Andy McCullough of the Los Angeles Times reports. That comes as no surprise at all. When Grandal struck out with the bases loaded in the ninth inning, Dodger fans regaled him with boos.
Barnes will be an upgrade defensively, but he’s lacking with the bat. He had an 0-for-3 performance in Game 2, though with an RBI, bringing his career slash line in the playoffs to .200/.281/.300 across 57 plate appearances. During the regular season, his career 100 adjusted OPS is a fair bit behind Grandal’s 115. Roberts is trading offense for defense in Game 4. Rich Hill will get the start opposite the Brewers’ Gio González.