Mark Teixeira expects to feel stiffness in his wrist for most of the season

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One of the big “ifs” for the Yankees is “if Mark Teixeira” can return as an effective hitter. Daniel Barbarisi of the Wall Street Journal caught up with him and, while he has no pain in his wrist and the doctors say everything is healing correctly, he is still stiff and expects to be for some time:

Teixeira’s doctors have told him that it will take a year for the wrist to feel fully normal, and that the tightness will likely remain throughout. It should improve, however, with every therapy session he completes and every swing he takes.

“I’m expecting until June, and maybe even through this entire season, it’ll be a little tight,” Teixeira said.

This article drops the old “time will tell” chestnut, but that’s just a slightly more optimistic way to phrase “we have no freakin’ idea.” And it suggests that, while most players can get away without being effective in spring training because they’re “getting their work in” or whatever, watching Teixeira in Tampa this year is going to be a lot more important.

Astros clinch postseason berth with 11-3 win over Angels

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No surprise here: The Astros are headed back to the postseason to defend their title following a landslide 11-3 win over the Angels on Friday. This figures to be their third playoff run since 2015, though they have yet to wrap up the AL West with a division title.

First baseman Yuli Gurriel led the charge on Friday, smashing a grand slam in the first inning and tacking on a two-run homer in the second and RBI single in the fifth to help the Astros to a seven-run lead. The Angels eventually returned fire, first with Mike Trout‘s 418-foot homer in the sixth, then with an RBI hit from Francisco Arcia in the seventh, but they couldn’t close the gap in time to overtake the Astros.

On the mound, right-hander Gerrit Cole clinched his 15th win of the year after holding the Angels to seven innings of three-run, 12-strikeout ball. His sixth strikeout of the night — delivered on an 83.1-MPH knuckle curveball to Kaleb Cowart — also marked the 1,000th strikeout of his career to date. He was backed by flawless performances by lefty reliever Tony Sipp and rookie right-hander Dean Deetz, both of whom turned in scoreless innings as the offense barreled toward an 11-3 finish with Jake Marisnick‘s sac bunt and George Springer‘s three-run shot in the eighth.

Despite having qualified for the playoffs, the Astros still carry a magic number of 6 as they look to clinch a third straight division title. They’re currently up against the Athletics, who entered Friday’s contest against the Twins just four games back of first place in the AL West.