Results tagged ‘ Mark Teixeira ’
NEW YORK — During his two previous trips to the All-Star Game, Mark Teixeira’s favorite part was the clubhouse chatter prior to the actual exhibition, when the best in the business share anecdotes about their experiences and routines. He wasn’t sure those conversations would ever include him again.
After two seasons largely lost to injury, Teixeira’s health has returned, with his repaired right wrist permitting him to club doubles and homers with regularity. The Yankees slugger is heading to Cincinnati as a reserve for the July 14 Midsummer Classic, joined by Bombers reliever Dellin Betances and perhaps Final Vote candidate Brett Gardner.
“I think this is probably my most special of all,” Teixeira said. “I mean, I’ll always remember my first one. I didn’t know if I’d ever make it back to an All-Star Game. But just putting in the work and the dedication of saying, ‘OK, if I get healthy I know I can be the player I was in the past.’ That hard work paying off means a lot.”
Teixeira, who also represented the American League in 2005 and 2009, entered play on Tuesday leading the AL with 59 RBIs, ranking among the league leaders in slugging percentage (.532, seventh), walks (44, tied for fourth) and isolated power (.289, second). His 20 first-half homers were the most by a Yankee since 2012.
“I knew what I had to do to get healthy again, get stronger and get back to being physically where I wanted to be,” Teixeira said. “You don’t forget how to play the game. I’ve kind of always remembered how to hit, remembered how to play defense. Those things don’t leave you, but getting strong again was the big thing.”
Tabbed as an All-Star for the second successive season, Betances said that he might be more chatty in the clubhouse this year. As a first-time representative in 2014 at Minnesota’s Target Field, Betances kept his head down and listened while the AL celebrated Derek Jeter’s final appearance, but Betances might play a more key role for the squad in ’15.
“Anytime you get picked, especially by your peers, guys you play against, it’s exciting,” Betances said. “I’ve worked hard and just to be here playing with the Yankees is already a great feeling. When you get selected for the second time, it’s kind of surreal, to be honest with you.”
Royals manager Ned Yost has said that his working plan is to give the ball to Betances for the seventh inning. After not being called upon in the game at Target Field, Betances said that assignment sounds great to him, and that he looks at the selection as just one more rung in his career ladder.
“I’m never going to be satisfied, and continue to work hard,” Betances said. “It took me a long time to get up here. Obviously, the second time means a lot to me and my family, but I’ve got to continue to work hard. There’s other goals that I want to accomplish as a player. For us to get back to the playoffs is something that I’ve been focusing on more, as a team goal.”
Hello once again on what promises to be a stormy evening here at Yankee Stadium. We should have a thunder and lightning show at some point tonight, but so far everything is on schedule. CC Sabathia and Sean O’Sullivan comprise the pitching matchup as the Yankees try to bounce back from a couple of rough ones against the Tigers and Phillies.
Here are the quick hits you need to know:
Manager Joe Girardi spoke a bit during his press conference about Sabathia’s ongoing adjustments:
“I think he’s adjusted better than he did maybe at the beginning of last year. I still think that every day going out there, it’s a learning process for him in learning how to pitch different. He’s incorporated his two-seamer to right-handers, something he did this year and something he never had to do. It’s picking the right times go use it. I still think he’s adjusting, but I think he understands who he is better than he did a year ago.”
Sabathia is unbeaten in his last four starts, going 1-0 with a 4.37 ERA (22.2 IP, 11 ER). He has 23 strikeouts and only three walks in that stretch.
Mitchell gives the Yankees an extra long reliever in case they need one, since Ivan Nova is starting tomorrow and Chris Capuano had to be summoned in relief yesterday due to Michael Pineda’s clunker.
Mark Teixeira (stiff neck) is “not quite ready” to play, according to Girardi, though the Yankees hope to have him back in the lineup tomorrow. Girardi said that he is not sure if Teixeira could be used as a pinch-hitter tonight. Teixeira said that he senses some improvement after yesterday’s cortisone injection:
“It’s been an issue for two weeks now. That’s too long, That’s why we got an MRI. Usually if you have a stiff neck, some spasms, they go away after a couple days. After two weeks, you want to get an MRI. It showed some irritation in the joint, so we got it fixed.”
Andrew Miller (left forearm flexor muscle strain) is scheduled to play catch tomorrow.
Brett Gardner is batting .565 (13-23 AB) with three homers over his last five games.
Brian McCann has homered in back-to-back games and is batting .360 (18-50 AB) with 12 RBIs over his last 13 games.
Girardi’s thoughts on Cole Hamels, who starts Wednesday for the Phillies:
“Obviously the challenge is great in facing Cole Hamels. He’s an outstanding pitcher and he’s been an outstanding pitcher for a long time. There’s been a lot of talk about him since the offseason; ‘How many more starts does he have in a Philadelphia uniform?’ Nobody knows. I don’t really get too caught up in it. Could he end up in our division? I guess. There are six divisions he could end up in, so I guess the chances are he could end up in ours. But I’m curious to see him pitch tomorrow.”
The fun of the Yankees’ so-called “Stache Squad” evaporated somewhere on the charter flight between Kansas City and Washington, with five losses in six games suggesting that someone should break out the razors.
Most of the Yankees were clean-shaven as they reported to Nationals Park on Tuesday, with Brett Gardner, Mark Teixeira, Brian McCann, Stephen Drew and Dellin Betances among those saying goodbye to their once-lucky soup-strainers.
“It wasn’t going to last forever,” Gardner said. “Just a couple of guys talked about, maybe it was time. Maybe we’ll start another one back at some point.”
Gardner was the ringleader of the Yanks’ mustache craze, which found its roots in a three-game sweep of the Rays at Tropicana Field from April 17-19.
Since 1973, the Yankees have had a well-known facial hair policy that only permits hair above the lip. Pushing it to the limit, the Yankees won 18 of their next 24 games, grabbing possession of first place in the American League East.
“We had fun with it while it lasted,” Teixeira said.
There could be a few more players grabbing the after-shave. Andrew Miller, Jacoby Ellsbury and Masahiro Tanaka were among those clinging to the mustaches on Tuesday afternoon, but the clock seemed to be nearing midnight for those too.
“I’m not going to be the only one,” Miller said.
Tanaka will begin his Minor League rehabilitation assignment with Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre on Thursday, an outing in which the Yankees right-hander is expected to throw three innings or 45 pitches.
Tanaka threw 29 pitches in a bullpen session on Monday at Nationals Park and reported no issues. He has been on the disabled list since April 29 with right wrist tendinitis and a right forearm strain, and will face Durham at 6:35 p.m. ET.
“Very much looking forward to it,” Tanaka said through an interpreter. “Good progress. Should be OK.”
Because Tanaka is throwing only 45 pitches on Thursday, it appears likely that he will need more than one rehab start. Girardi has said the Yankees would like Tanaka to be ready to throw at least 90 pitches in a big league game, and pitchers typically add about 15 pitches per outing.
“Let’s just go a start at a time,” Girardi said. “We know that we have to build him back up some. He has not been out that long, so he’ll go three and 45 and then we’ll decide what’s next.”
Should there be an opportunity for Chasen Shreve to face Bryce Harper this week, you might see a couple of smiles exchanged. That would be a rare reaction for the Nationals slugger to get from an opposing pitcher, considering his recent offensive tear.
The Yankees left-hander said that he has known Harper back to their high school years, when Harper was already smearing on eye black and wowing scouts, then earning national attention as he landed on the cover of Sports Illustrated at age 16.
“The first time I met him, it was in a scout tournament and we were playing on the same team,” Shreve said. “He came from football practice to one of our practices. He had the cutoff sleeves and the big face paint. I met him, he was a really nice guy. I thought he was more of a football player than a baseball player. When he played, he was just unreal. He played hard; he’s always played hard.”
Shreve and Harper teamed as a battery for one season with the College of Southern Nevada — “He was a good catcher; great arm,” Shreve said — and watching from afar, Shreve said that he believes Harper has been able to handle the hype that surrounded him from a young age.
“Everything you see bad about him just gets magnified that much more,” Shreve said. “I remember we were playing at CSN and they kept picking over (to first base) and just smacking the crap out of his helmet, just hitting him in the helmet like three times in a row.
“Then he ended up hitting a home run and points in their dugout, and it got blown up that he did it for no reason. It always happened like that. Everything got magnified, no matter what he did. I think he has handled it well. You can’t be perfect.”
Teixeira was in the lineup after being hit on the right big toe by a pitch Sunday. He joked, “I might have the red light a little more than usual at first base.”
Alex Rodriguez is on the bench for the first of two games against the Nats, which will be played with National League rules. Girardi said that he’d like to get A-Rod at least one at-bat per game, but he isn’t strongly considering playing him in the field.
“I’m sure he’d much rather be in there than having all this time off, but he understands the situation,” Girardi said. “It is what it is. We’ll go day by day. That’s what happens when you become a DH. It becomes harder to get in games when you’re in a National League park.”
This might have been tough to believe just a few weeks ago, but Girardi said he had a difficult time taking Carlos Beltran out of the lineup to play Chris Young against left-hander Gio Gonzalez.
“He’s been playing well and he’s been swinging well,” Girardi said. “You get in a situation where you’re coming off an off day, your two guys at the top have done a great job against left-handers, Chris Young has done a great job against left-handers. But Carlos has been playing extremely well. In this long run, these two days might not hurt him, but it was hard to take him out today.”
Chase Whitley had Tommy John surgery today in New York. Dr. Chris Ahmad performed the surgery, with an expected recovery time of 12 to 18 months.
“It all went well,” Girardi said. “The way I understood it, there were only a few fibers left, so maybe he had a couple pitches left and it would have been completely gone. It was the right choice on his part.”
The Yankees recalled right-hander Chase Whitley from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre to make Tuesday’s start against the Rays at Yankee Stadium, optioning infielder Gregorio Petit to Triple-A in a corresponding roster move.
Whitley, 25, was 2-0 with a 2.12 ERA in three starts at Triple-A. He had compiled a 1.17 ERA in seven spring appearances (two starts), but was sent to the Minor Leagues so the Yankees could have a sixth starting pitcher available as they endure a stretch of 30 games in 31 days.
“It was difficult to send him down because he meant a lot to us last year and pitched well in Spring Training,” Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. “He understood why we did what we did. That doesn’t necessarily mean that as a player you want it to happen or you like it, but he went down there with the right attitude.”
Petit, 30, batted .208 (5-for-24) with five RBIs in 13 games for New York. His demotion indicates that infielder Jose Pirela is close to rejoining the big league club, perhaps as soon as Wednesday. Pirela is currently on a Minor League rehab assignment with Double-A Trenton.
Long before he put on his first big league uniform, Mark Teixeira was just one of the kids in the box seats at Camden Yards, munching on a hot dog and sneaking peeks into the Orioles dugout. The Maryland native said on Tuesday that he has been keeping a close eye on this week’s civil unrest in Baltimore.
“There’s some tough parts of Baltimore,” Teixeira said. “We don’t really see it that much going to the stadium and where we stay, but I’ve seen the tough parts of Baltimore. You never expect stuff like this, but you can see how it could happen.”
Baltimore has been at the center of national attention as protests over the death of 25-year-old Freddie Gray have grown violent in pockets of the city. The Orioles and White Sox cancelled two games and will play Wednesday afternoon at Camden Yards without fans in the building.
“Did you ever go to a Rangers-Rays game between 2003 and 2005?” Teixeira said. “I’ve played in games where there’s been a couple of thousand; two, three thousand fans. It’s a little weird, but literally nobody in the stands. I’ve never had that. That’s got to be difficult, but like I said, once the game starts, I don’t think it will be a big deal.”
Teixeira said that he has an uncle who is a Catholic priest in the city, and his church is currently being watched by the National Guard.
“I talked to my dad last night. He’s doing fine,” Teixeira said. “[If] people start attacking churches, it’s a good thing the National Guard’s there, because that’s the bottom of the bottom.”
(Andrew) Miller Time with a few friends; what could be better? Over the last 11 games going into Tuesday’s action, the Yankees’ bullpen has posted an 0.57 ERA in their last 11 games (31.2 IP, 2 ER, 9 BB, 43 K).
“I think it’s a big part of our success here, what our bullpen has done,” Girardi said. “It was kind of what we envisioned when we left Spring Training. I think the biggest thing for me was seeing exactly how the parts fit together. Going through some games and some situations, I think we have a better understanding now.”
Designated hitter and newly-minted assistant infield coach Alex Rodriguez was held out of the lineup this evening because he played third base yesterday and the Yanks have a day game tomorrow, Girardi said. If he’s needed off the bench, he is available.
Here’s A-Rod’s take on the season thus far:
“I think we got off to a rough start, a slow start, and then I thought this road trip was very important for us because it was long and good for us both on and off the field. On the field it gave us an opportunity to kind of jell together and play a little better, and I think we did that. Off the field, it gave us an opportunity to bond and start building the brotherhood that we need to reach our goals.”
Since Petit isn’t on the roster, where would the Yankees go if they need a backup second baseman tonight? Better way of phrasing the question: who would be this year’s Vernon Wells or Jorge Posada, randomly playing secod base out of position?
“I feel like I can put Head (Chase Headley) at second base if I needed to,” Girardi said. “Realistically, I could put Al there, I’m sure. I think he would say, ‘Yeah, I’ll go out there and try it.’ We’ve been there before the last couple years, so there’s not a situation that I’m too worried about. If it happens, we’ll handle it.”
The fuel for the Yankees’ recent winning streak can be traced to a moment of inspiration in a bathroom mirror at Tropicana Field. At least, that’s how Brett Gardner tells the story.
Gardner is leading the charge behind a sprouting band of mustaches in the Yankees’ clubhouse, most of which have been permitted to take root while the team has reeled off seven wins in eight games going into Saturday’s Subway Series game against the Mets.
“It’s been going a little longer than you would think,” Gardner said. “It takes me a while to get it going, but ever since Tampa we’ve just been playing good. I kind of stuck with it and some other guys followed suit.”
Gardner has convinced Dellin Betances, Jacoby Ellsbury, Chase Headley, Garrett Jones, Brian McCann, Esmil Rogers and Mark Teixeira, among others, to grow some facial hair as a show of team unity. The Yankees’ long-standing policy permits growth above the lip.
“There wasn’t a whole lot of thought behind it, to be honest,” said Gardner, who said that his is the result of eight days’ growth. “We can’t grow beards, but we can grow a mustache. CC (Sabathia) is like four years ahead of everybody.”
Most of the results have been patchy; Teixeira chuckled and said that his is coming in slowly but surely, while Gardner said that Rogers has produced the best results. Of his thin growth, Ellsbury said, “I’m just trying to stay warm.”
The Yankees agreed that Betances’ mustache was the weakest so far; suffice it to say, it will not remind anyone of Jason Giambi’s 2008 ‘Support the ‘Stache’ All-Star Final Vote campaign anytime soon.
“I have no facial hair; I’m still a baby,” said Betances, 27. “I’ve never tried to grow a mustache. Mine is the worst one.”
Gardner said that he is trying to convince Alex Rodriguez to join the mustache club, and asked reporters to apply some pressure. Yankees manager Joe Girardi said that Gardner has tried to rope him in as well.
“I thought about it,” Girardi said. “He has asked me about it, so we’ll see. I have to answer to someone at home.”