Results tagged ‘ Mark Teixeira ’

Yankees GM Brian Cashman trying to upgrade offense

Brian CashmanThe reconstructed Yankees rotation has performed better than Brian Cashman would have anticipated, and the general manager said that he’d now prefer to focus his attention on acquiring a big bat as the July 31 non-waivers Trade Deadline approaches.

“It’s weird,” Cashman said in an interview with ESPN New York 98.7 FM. “Our pitching has been drastically altered because of the injuries, and despite losing four out of five starters and all that stuff, our pitching has survived – surprisingly, to this point. I think our offense should be better.

“… It still feels like the pitching needs more help, but honestly the offense has been consistently poor throughout the entire year. The answer has to be an offensive piece, I guess.”

The Yankees believe they upgraded their infield this week by acquiring Chase Headley from the Padres, but they could also use a right-handed hitting outfielder. The Twins’ Josh Willingham makes some sense as a potential trade target, as does the Rangers’ Alex Rios.

Brett Gardner and Jacoby Ellsbury have been constants in the Yankees’ outfield this year, but 40-year-old Ichiro Suzuki has faltered with regular playing time and the team still isn’t sure if Carlos Beltran will be able to return to defensive duty this year because of a bone spur in his throwing elbow.

Cashman also said that he does not see homegrown 23-year-old Rob Refsnyder as the answer to help a lineup that has produced 395 runs through 100 games; only the Astros (394) have scored less among American League teams this season.

Refsnyder has enjoyed some buzz at Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, where he had a .301/.401/.497 slash line entering play on Thursday, but Cashman said that he does not believe Refsnyder would represent a significant upgrade over Brian Roberts at second base right now.

“He has a chance to be the second baseman of the future maybe as early as next year,” Cashman said, adding that if Refsnyder does see any big league time in 2014, it would likely be in the outfield. “If we can avoid it, I don’t think we’d get the impact over the next two months that people would think. That jump from Triple-A to the big leagues is larger than it’s ever been.”


Masahiro Tanaka is still reporting discomfort in his right elbow, 10 days after having a platelet-rich plasma injection, but the Yankees are still hopeful of having the right-hander return to the big league mound this season.

Tanaka was diagnosed with a small tear of his right ulnar collateral ligament earlier this month. Three doctors recommended a six-week rehab program instead of having Tanaka undergo Tommy John surgery.

“He’s improved, but he still feels it,” Cashman said. “On a daily basis, it decreases, so that’s good. But it’s not good that he’s still feeling it at this stage. We just go day by day and week by week, and we’ll adjust accordingly. Right now, it’s too early to call.”

The Yankees have said that Tanaka would have three weeks of rest from throwing, so he would likely attempt to resume playing catch in the first week of August. After that, Tanaka would have to go through the gauntlet of bullpen sessions, batting practice and then Minor League rehab games to get back to the big leagues.

“We’ve got to wait three weeks to see where he’s at,” Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. “Then we’ll probably have him start to have him play catch and see if he’s going to be a pitcher for us. You’ve got to let things heal. Things don’t heal overnight.”


Manager Joe Girardi said that the Yankees will likely make a roster decision regarding injured first baseman Mark Teixeira by Friday.

Thursday’s series finale against the Rangers will be Teixeira’s fourth consecutive game out of the lineup due to a mild strain of his lower left lat. After Sunday’s 3-2 win over the Reds, Teixeira underwent an MRI exam that revealed the injury.

“It’s just seeing how he feels after three or four days,” Girardi said. “Then we’ll decide if we think it’s going to be the near future that he would play or we’re going to need the 15-day [disabled list]. If it’s going to be 12, 13, 14 days, it probably makes sense to get a player here.”


Because of rain in Tampa, Fla., Michael Pineda’s simulated game was moved indoors on Thursday morning. The rehabbing right-hander threw 30 pitches, with no hitters. He will progress to throwing three innings or 45 pitches against live hitters in five days.


Derek Jeter was out of the Yankees’ lineup on Thursday; Girardi said that it was a regular day off, and that if it had been a night game, Jeter probably would have played.

Mark Teixeira leaves game with strained hamstring

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.

Spring Game 23: Yankees at Braves

disney post card frontHello from Walt Disney World’s ‘Wide World of Sports’ complex, where the Yankees are visiting the Atlanta Braves this afternoon at 1:05 p.m. ET. There is no Yankees radio or TV coverage of today’s game; the Braves have a radio broadcast.

The Yankees are playing with a DH this afternoon; the Braves are not. Here are the lineups:

YANKEES (11-9-2)
Brett Gardner CF
Derek Jeter SS
Carlos Beltran DH
Brian McCann C
Alfonso Soriano RF
Brian Roberts 2B
Kelly Johnson 3B
Adonis Garcia LF
Jose Gil 1B

Ivan Nova RHP

Also scheduled to pitch: Danny Burawa, Dellin Betances, Cesar Cabral and Shane Greene.

BRAVES (8-12-3)
Jason Heyward RF
B.J. Upton CF
Freddie Freeman 1B
Evan Gattis C
Justin Upton LF
Chris Johnson 3B
Dan Uggla 2B
Andrelton Simmons SS
David Hale RHP

News and notes from Joe Girardi’s morning interview session in Tampa:

– Girardi said that he has seen an improvement in maturity this spring from Ivan Nova, who makes his fifth start of the spring today.

“I’ve seen a guy that’s come into spring training that, it seems like he realizes how good he can be,” Girardi said. “And I think that’s important. I think for all young players, there’s that doubt always a little bit: can I do this on a consistent basis? Can I do it start after start, or game after game if you’re a position player? Do I need to look over my starter? Is there someone always doubting what I can do? I think he’s realized that, you know what, I can be pretty good. He came back last year and was really good, and I think that was kind of the eye-opener for him.”

– Girardi has been very encouraged by Mark Teixeira‘s health.

“What I’ve been most pleased is, you look at this whole spring training and there’s never been a point where he was scheduled to work that he had to say, ‘I could use a day,’” Girardi said. “That’s really encouraging to me. Everything that he’s been scheduled to do, he has done.”

He added that there is no longer any apprehension with Teixeira or Derek Jeter‘s health.

“I think they pretty much put it to rest,” Girardi said. “Obviously you worry about your guys when they’re playing out there every day, but I haven’t seen anything to lead me to believe that they’re not going to be healthy this season.”

- Adam Warren and Vidal Nuno aren’t likely to start again this spring, unless it comes in a Minor League game. They’re running out of innings to go around, and players like CC Sabathia and Masahiro Tanaka need to take those starts. Nuno will relieve David Phelps tomorrow in Fort Myers, and Warren relieves Sabathia on Friday against the Pirates.

- There’s no decision yet on the fifth starter, but Girardi has been encouraged by the strong spring from this group.

“I have confidence in our guys. I believe in what they’re capable of doing,” Girardi said. “I’ve seen it. I’ve seen them do it on a pretty consistent basis. I believe that our rotation can be pretty good, I do. I think it can be really good. Obviously you have to avoid injuries. That always helps. With this competition for the fifth spot, these other guys have shown that, if we do have something to awry, that they can step in and do a pretty good job. I feel that we have a good rotation, we will have a good rotation, and we have depth.”

Girardi volunteered the names of Danny Burawa and Shane Greene, saying that they have “shown that they’re getting pretty close and they’re knocking on the door.”

- Girardi said they’ll “continue to discuss” using Alfonso Soriano as a backup first baseman, but they’re leaning more toward Kelly Johnson, who should get another start at first base this weekend.

“Kelly’s going to play a lot,” Girardi said. “I like what I’ve seen from him, and he’s going to play a lot.”

- Girardi said no decision has been made for a backup infielder at second and third bases. He carefully listed his candidates alphabetically so no one could read into it: Dean Anna, Eduardo Nunez, Scott Sizemore, Yangervis Solarte and Zelous Wheeler. Sizemore, by the way, has been out with a quad problem. Girardi said he could play by the end of the week. What you can read into that is that Nunez is, by no means, a lock to make this team.

- Brendan Ryan is still on track to play tomorrow against the Red Sox in Fort Myers. He has been out since the first week of March with a lower back/oblique issue.

Mark Teixeira faces live pitching; aims to play Thursday

Mark Teixeira said that it was “pretty uneventful” to stand in against live pitching on Monday morning, but as the Yankees first baseman inches back toward game action, every step is an important one.

Teixeira took three swings from each side of the plate on the main field at George M. Steinbrenner Field, facing left-hander Manny Banuelos and right-hander Jose Campos. Teixeira ended the session with a solid single to left field off Banuelos.

“I wish I’d gotten a little more work, but we’ll get more work the next time I’m out there,” Teixeira said.

Teixeira said that he has not had any issues with his surgically repaired right wrist, but hitting left-handed is his main concern since it is his bottom hand from that side.

“In BP I’ve been swinging hard, but BP swings and game swings are totally different when you’ve got a guy throwing 90-plus,” Teixeira said. “I didn’t get any inside pitches, which I was hoping for today, but we’ll get more work in and I’m sure it will keep getting better.”

Teixeira said that the plan is to take live batting practice again on Tuesday and Wednesday, and then play on Thursday against the Phillies in Clearwater, Fla.

“I feel pretty good. We’ve been here over two weeks now and the wrist is getting stronger,” Teixeira said. “That’s the biggest thing. It needs to get stronger. The bat speed is pretty good. We’ll keep building up and hopefully on April 1 it’s feeling really good and the swing’s feeling really good and I’m ready to roll.”

Day 2: Teixeira getting back in the swing

What happened: This part of camp is usually dominated by the pitchers and catchers, but today’s highlight came from a position player. Mark Teixeira is on this side early since he’s a rehabbing player, and he was pleased by his on-field batting practice session.

Teixeira took 22 swings from the left side of the plate and 21 from the right side. He also hit off a tee, spraying quite a few line drives around the outfield. There were no home runs, but one ball hit the left-field fence on the fly.

“I actually felt better left-handed today. My swing path felt a lot better left-handed,” Teixeira said. “I was coming around it too much right-handed, but it’s just something that the first couple of weeks of Spring Training, I’ll make sure that bat path is good and your bat speed is good. Good first day, though.”

It was interesting to watch Teixeira and hitting coach Kevin Long analyze each swing, particularly while Teixeira was hitting off a tee. They were really going over mechanics and trying to get everything right at the earliest stage. This was Teixeira’s first time hitting on the field; all of his offseason hitting took place indoors.

“Nice to see the sunshine,” he said. “You can kind of trick yourself with how good you’re doing, because off the bat you can hit line drives and it looks good or it feels good. But if the ball is dying and it’s not traveling at all, then you know that you don’t have that power. Getting on the tee and getting outside and seeing the ball travel, seeing some nice line drives, seeing some nice fly balls – it was good to see that.”

What else happened: There were two bullpen groups, and it’s noteworthy – though not necessarily indicative of anything – that Matt Daley was included with Shawn Kelley, David Robertson and Matt Thornton. Daley is a non-roster invitee, but he was up with the Yankees last year and had good numbers at Triple-A. He figures to get a look for a bullpen spot. The other bullpens were thrown by Manny Banuelos, Cesar Cabral, Brian Gordon, Chris Leroux and Mark Montgomery.

What we learned: Masahiro Tanaka laced up his Asics running shoes this morning and said that yesterday’s four lap-event was more of a miscommunication than anything else. Tanaka hadn’t expected to run a mile after throwing a bullpen, but now he’ll know that’s a possibility next time. As for today’s running?

“Today was short distance. No problem at all,” Tanaka said, with a smile.

What we learned II: After missing all of 2013 while recovering from Tommy John surgery, the smart money is that Banuelos will begin the year at Triple-A, but Girardi doesn’t sound ready to completely rule out the idea of Banuelos breaking camp with the team.

“This is a guy who hasn’t pitched a lot in the last couple years, and he’ll probably have some limitations on how many games you can throw him, and that will have to be evaluated,” Girardi said. “But we’re going to look at every arm in camp, and try to put the 12 best together, and we’ll try to go from there. That doesn’t just limit him to being a starter. Who knows? He could be in the bullpen.”

What else: When Girardi writes out the lineups in his head, they always include Derek Jeter and Teixeira.

“They’re back, in my mind,” Girardi said. “But I think you have to get them in games to see exactly where they’re at,  to be fair to them, and probably to alleviate any doubt that you might have. But in my mind, going into this year, with the surgeries they’ve had and the winters they’ve had, I’m expecting them to be players for us.”

Just one more thing: Catcher Pete O’Brien puts on a show in batting practice. Standing 6-foot-3 and 215 pounds, he’s got a big right-handed bat and hit 22 homers last year for Class-A Charleston and Tampa.

What they said: I hope to play five more really productive years. I feel healthy, I’m in good shape. If the wrist is healthy, there’s no reason why I can’t be there for a long time. As long as someone will put me in the middle of a lineup, and at first base every day, I’ll keep playing.” – Teixeira

What’s next: Same time, same place tomorrow. Expect to see the guys on the field shortly after 10:15 a.m. ET. Position players report on Wednesday, with the first full-squad workout set for Thursday.

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