Results tagged ‘ Mark Teixeira ’
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.”
It’s Jackie Robinson Day around Major League Baseball, and the Yankees are on the field to wrap up their three-game series with the Orioles tonight here at Camden Yards. Nathan Eovaldi is making his second start for New York. Right-hander Bud Norris, who beat the Yanks in all four starts against them last year, has the ball for Baltimore.
Here are the quick hits from the Yankees’ clubhouse:
- Mark Teixeira has at least one hit and one RBI in each of his last five games. That’s his longest such streak since 2011 (six games, May 24-30).
- That final bullpen spot rotated once more, as the Yankees recalled right-hander Branden Pinder from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. Right-hander Joel De La Cruz was in Baltimore for two days and didn’t get into a game, though at least he got a suit out of the deal.
- Brett Gardner said that his right wrist feels better, and though he may have a precautionary MRI tomorrow in Tampa, Gardner expects to be in the lineup on Friday when the Yanks open a three-game series with the Rays. Gardner could pinch-run or play defense tonight.
- Minor League right-hander Wilking Rodriguez was hit with an 80-game suspension for violation of the drug policy. Rodriguez was in Spring Training with the big club.
- Ivan Nova threw 20 pitches of live batting practice yesterday in Tampa and is scheduled to do so again on Friday. Chris Capuano is scheduled to throw live batting practice tomorrow. It is possible that the Yankees could have both pitchers back in early June; Girardi said that Capuano would be “slightly ahead” of Nova.
- Brendan Ryan will accompany the team to Tampa and can start some baseball activities there.
Here are the lineups:
Jacoby Ellsbury CF
Chase Headley 3B
Carlos Beltran RF
Mark Teixeira 1B
Brian McCann C
Alex Rodriguez DH
Stephen Drew 2B
Chris Young LF
Didi Gregorius SS
RHP Nathan Eovaldi (0-0, 5.06)
Alejandro De Aza RF
Everth Cabrera SS
Adam Jones CF
Travis Snider DH
Chris Davis 1B
Manny Machado 3B
Caleb Joseph C
David Lough LF
Jonathan Schoop 2B
RHP Bud Norris (0-1, 24.00)
The countdown to the Feb. 20 official report date for pitchers and catchers is on, and this is as good as time as any to hit the reset button and look ahead. Over the last several weeks, the Yankees have been busy assembling a roster that promises to be younger and more versatile than last year’s 84-win club.
Beginning with the relatively minor Nov. 12 deal with the Pirates, which swapped left-hander Justin Wilson for catcher Francisco Cervelli, general manager Brian Cashman has triggered six trades and pulled two major free agents off the board in Andrew Miller (four years, $36 million) and Chase Headley (four years, $52 million). It seems like just yesterday that Cashman was standing on the curb of a San Diego hotel, explaining why the Yanks were leaving the Winter Meetings empty-handed.
This week, they’ve also moved close to an agreement with infielder Stephen Drew; that deal is done, pending a physical, and will be worth $5 million plus incentives for the 2015 season.
Drew slots as the Yanks’ starting second baseman, forming a combination up the middle with Didi Gregorius. So much for that spring battle between youngsters Rob Refsnyder and Jose Pirela, though it would serve them both well to come into Spring Training and play well. Depth could be important at both infield positions.
A lot can happen between now and April 6, something the Yankees know all too well, particularly in the starting rotation. Barring something wild like a push to bring in Max Scherzer, here is an early guess at how the Yankees’ 25-man roster could look on Opening Day:
No real surprises here, assuming they can all get through the spring without health issues. They’ll have to hold their breath on every Tanaka splitter for a while. Adam Warren is set to come into Spring Training as a starter and could also be considered here. Pitching coach Larry Rothschild floated the idea of a six-man rotation last year and it will be interesting to see if the Yanks kick that around, but for now, these are five solid choices they can go forward with. It’s important to note that Ivan Nova is expected to return from Tommy John surgery in May or June.
Bullpen (7): Dellin Betances, Andrew Miller, David Carpenter, Adam Warren, Justin Wilson, Esmil Rogers, Chasen Shreve.
The Yanks believe their closer is already on this roster, so Joe Girardi can have some fun in the spring deciding between Betances and Miller. They could even go with co-closers based upon situations if they wanted, but my best guess right now is that Betances will close and Miller sticks in the setup role. Carpenter slides into Shawn Kelley’s old role and would handle the 6th or 7th innings. Rogers is a solid swingman option, while Wilson and Shreve would give the Yanks extra lefties in the pen.
Spring Training is a great time to evaluate bullpen arms, and the Yanks will have plenty of other names to look at. Shreve’s spot is probably the least secure of anyone on that list, and so a brief list of options who could fit here if they don’t begin the year in the Minors include (in no particular order) — Chase Whitley, Dan Burawa, Branden Pinder, Bryan Mitchell, Jose Ramirez, Jacob Lindgren, Nick Rumbelow and Gonzalez Germen. Andrew Bailey was also re-signed to a Minor League deal and is trying to regain his old form.
Catchers (2): Brian McCann, John Ryan Murphy.
Murphy will have to hold off Austin Romine for the backup role; Romine is out of Minor League options and the Yanks would lose him if he doesn’t make the Opening Day roster, but Murphy has seemed to leapfrog Romine in the organization’s view over the last year or so. Top prospect Gary Sanchez is slated to begin the year at Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre and could make his big league debut this year.
The starting infield seems set, with Teixeira, Drew, Gregorius and Headley going around the horn. In particular, the Yanks expect that Teixeira will be stronger and more productive as he is further removed from surgery. Drew should fit at second base but gives the Yanks an option at shortstop if Gregorius flounders.
Ryan would be the 25th man on the roster. He provides a backup pretty much everywhere, assuming the Yanks keep him and intend to have Refsnyder and Pirela start the year in Triple-A (their 40-man roster is full and Drew hasn’t yet been added).
Jones would be Teixeira’s backup at first base, has played some right field and could serve as the DH against right-handed pitching. They love the idea of showcasing his big left-handed power in Yankee Stadium. It’s anyone’s guess what the Yankees will have in A-Rod; they’re going in thinking that any production would be a bonus. At the absolute minimum, you’d hope that Rodriguez can be an effective DH against left-handed pitching (the Yanks think his ’13 struggles vs. lefties were a small-sample size aberration), but it’s not impossible to envision Rodriguez being moderately productive as a full-time DH and even playing a little third base.
The outfield is pretty locked in from left to right, assuming that Beltran’s elbow is healed and he can be more like the player he was in 2013 with the Cardinals. If he’s unable to play right field regularly, it will create major headaches with the DH spot. Young is capable of playing all three outfield spots and, as Ichiro Suzuki discovered over the last two seasons, there can be plenty of at-bats to be found in a role like that — even if it doesn’t appear that way early in the spring.