Mark Teixeira planning to rejoin the Yankees next week

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Mark Teixeira laid out his rehab schedule for Wallace Matthews of ESPN New York, saying the current plan calls for him to play four games in the minors next week and then come off the disabled list to rejoin the Yankees by the end of the week.

It’s worth noting that Teixeira has repeatedly laid out other plans for a return that ultimately didn’t happen, including initially saying he’d be back by May 1, but the Yankees first baseman is definitely getting close if he can avoid any setbacks.

Teixeira has been on the disabled list all season and if he returns next weekend he’ll have missed around 55 games with a wrist injury suffered during the World Baseball Classic. Fill-in first baseman Lyle Overbay has hit .250 with seven homers and a solid .467 slugging percentage in 44 games, but he’s also made a ton of outs with a lowly .286 on-base percentage.

Hunter Pence is mashing for the Rangers

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Hunter Pence was thought to be on his way to retirement after a lackluster 2018 season with the Giants. As he entered his mid-30’s, Pence spent a considerable amount of time on the injured list, playing in 389 out of 648 possible regular season games with the Giants from 2015-18.

Pence, however, kept his career going, inking a minor league deal with the Rangers in February. He performed very well in spring training, earning a spot on the Opening Day roster. Pence hasn’t stopped hitting.

Entering Monday night’s game against the Mariners, Pence was batting .299/.358/.619 with eight home runs and 28 RBI in 109 plate appearances, mostly as a DH. Statcast agrees that Pence has been mashing the ball. He has an average exit velocity of 93.3 MPH this season, which would obliterate his marks in each of the previous four seasons since Statcast became a thing. His career average exit velocity is 89.8 MPH. He has “barreled” the ball 10.4 percent of the time, well above his 6.2 percent average.

What Pence did to a baseball in the seventh inning of Monday’s game, then, shouldn’t come as a surprise.

That’s No. 9 on the year for Pence. Statcast measured it at 449 feet and 108.3 MPH off the bat. Not only is Pence not retired, he may be a lucrative trade chip for the Rangers leading up to the trade deadline at the end of July.