Even with all of their offseason remodeling, the Yankees never came up with a concrete plan to prepare for losing Mark Teixeira from their lineup for an extended period of time.
Four games into the regular season, they may be forced to scramble for a ‘Plan B.’ Teixeira strained his right hamstring in the second inning of the Yankees’ 7-3 victory over the Blue Jays at Rogers Centre, and while Teixeira hopes to avoid the disabled list, he said that he is “not super optimistic about it.”
“I definitely don’t want to go on the DL,” Teixeira said. “I’m really hoping that [Saturday] morning, I wake up, we go through some stuff with the doctors, and it feels good. But we’ll see.”
Teixeira said that he has been scheduled to have an MRI on Monday in New York. Yankees manager Joe Girardi said that Teixeira would be re-evaluated on Saturday morning, and suggested that the club’s travel schedule – they did not make it to Toronto from Houston until 6 a.m. ET on Friday – may have been a contributing factor.
“It kind of leaves you scrambling a little bit,” Girardi said. “Why it happens, and there’s always those concerns. Today before the game started, my concern was fatigue for guys. We don’t ever know why a guy gets hurt, but I was concerned about tonight.”
The injury occurred when Teixeira pursued a foul ball during the second inning, reaching for the back of his right leg. He gestured to the Yankees’ dugout and briefly spoke with Girardi and head athletic trainer Steve Donohue on the field before coming out of the game.
“I knew it was going to be foul, but I went and caught it anyway,” Teixeira said. “I just took an awkward step, and when I landed, I felt a grab in my hamstring. It wasn’t one of those excruciating, fall to the ground because of the pain [injuries], but it was significant enough that I knew something was wrong.”
Teixeira also strained his right hamstring in Game 4 of the 2010 American League Championship Series, effectively ending his season. At the time, the Yankees estimated a six-to-eight week recovery period, based upon the severity of that Grade 2 strain.
Teixeira said that Friday’s injury did not feel as severe, but he is frustrated after being limited to just 15 games last year by a right wrist injury that required season-ending surgery.
“It’s just really disappointing, because this whole Spring Training, my legs have felt really good,” Teixeira said. “No problems doing anything, and it’s just a weird thing.”
With Teixeira out of the lineup, Kelly Johnson may be pressed into more duty at first base. Johnson worked out this spring at first base and replaced Teixeira there after Friday’s injury, but he spent more time this spring getting reps at third base, where he was expected to be the regular starter in Alex Rodriguez’s absence.
“It’s day to day,” Johnson said. “I’m going to get more comfortable as I play more over there, just like anything. Not too bad. [First base is] a lot more similar to third than it is to second. Getting over there at third and getting to first is not too bad.”
The Yankees had Alfonso Soriano take ground balls at first base this spring, but abandoned the experiment, saying that there was not enough time to make him a serviceable option. They also talked about Russ Canzler as a potential backup first base option this spring; Canzler is at Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre and is not on the 40-man roster.
We updated our story from last night on MLB.com, but in case you missed it, the Yankees released the following statement this afternoon about Eduardo Nunez:
Please note that an MRI taken earlier today at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital on Eduardo Nunez’s right knee was negative. Nunez is day-to-day.
Nunez was very concerned about a possible disabled list assignment when he left Rogers Centre last night.
It’s been a rough year for Nunez, who thought he’d get a chance to shine as the starting shortstop with Derek Jeter missing most of the year. But Nunez wound up falling victim to the injury bug as well and didn’t really distinguish himself much when he was in the lineup.
Also on the injury front, Robinson Cano was supposed to get treatment today at Yankee Stadium on his bruised left hand. Cano is hopeful that he will play Friday against the Orioles, but he’ll have to go through batting practice before the Yankees know for sure.
Derek Jeter will begin yet another Minor League rehabilitation assignment on Thursday, joining the Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders for their 7:05 p.m. ET home game against the Pawtucket Red Sox.
Jeter is recovering from a Grade 1 strain of his right calf, and Yankees manager Joe Girardi said that Jeter is slated to play five innings at shortstop. Jeter worked out in Tampa, Fla. again on Wednesday and ran the bases, according to Girardi, who said that he expects Jeter will play at least two games for Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.
“As I’ve said, we’ll just go day-by-day and see how he responds each day,” Girardi said.
It is possible, but not a sure bet, that Jeter could re-join the Yankees on Saturday at Tropicana Field.
Derek Jeter has been diagnosed with a Grade 1 strain of his quadriceps and will not play through the weekend, Yankees GM Brian Cashman announced today.
That will permit him to rest through the All-Star break as well, which the Yankees are hopeful will allow him to avoid going back on the disabled list.
Cashman said that would be the best case scenario, but also cautioned there is still a chance he’ll need to be retroactively placed on the disabled list after the All-Star break.
A Grade 1 strain is the slightest, or least severe, of the three possible grades.
ST. PETERSBURG – Yankees outfielder Curtis Granderson suffered a fractured fifth metacarpal of his left hand after being hit by a pitch during Friday’s game against the Rays and is again headed for the disabled list.
Granderson was drilled by a 90 mph sinker from Tampa Bay left-hander Cesar Ramos in the fifth inning of Friday’s contest and initially stayed in the game to run the bases, with first base coach Mick Kelleher waving off the training staff.
By the time Granderson reached third base, television cameras caught him grimacing and flexing. Manager Joe Girardi and assistant trainer Mark Littlefield visited Granderson at third base and he stayed in long enough to score on Jayson Nix’s RBI walk.
Granderson appeared unable to put his batting glove back on his left hand and left for the clubhouse after scoring. X-rays were taken at Tropicana Field, revealing the fracture, and he was replaced in right field by Ichiro Suzuki.
It has been a rough year for Granderson, who missed the first six weeks of the regular season after suffering a fractured right forearm when he was hit by a pitch in the Yanks’ first Spring Training game on Feb. 24. Granderson was playing in just his eighth big league game of the year.
The fracture is the same one that Alex Rodriguez suffered last July after being hit by a Felix Hernandez pitch in Seattle. Rodriguez missed approximately six weeks.