Mark Teixeira landed on the disabled list over the weekend with a right hamstring strain, but the Yankees waited until today to send him for an MRI. The early word is encouraging.
According to Wallace Matthews of ESPN New York, Teixiera has been diagnosed with a Grade 1 hamstring strain. That’s the least severe strain, so the hope is that he won’t have to miss much time beyond the minimum 15 days. The 33-year-old had a Grade 2 right hamstring strain end his season in 2010, but he said right away that this particular injury isn’t as serious. Today’s diagnosis confirms that much.
With Teixeira down, the Yankees are going with Kelly Johnson as their primary first baseman. Early season hero Yangervis Solarte is filling in at third base.
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.