Yankees Hoping for Best with Teixeira and Beltran Injuries
Could this be the year the perennially mature Yankee lineup actually catches a break on the injury front?
It’s almost June and, at the risk of speaking too soon, so far veteran mainstays like Derek Jeter and injury-prone newcomers like Jacoby Ellsbury have managed to stay healthy. On Thursday, the Yankees also received relatively good news about Mark Teixeira. The first baseman had missed all three games against the Cardinals this week due to stiffness in his right wrist, which was surgically repaired last season and was the impetus for Teixeira to miss almost all of 2013.
Red flags obviously went up, but a specialist confirmed that Teixeira was experiencing only inflammation in the wrist and there was no new damage to the tendon sheath repaired last year. The Yankees are listing him as day-to-day, but he is hoping to return to the lineup on Friday at the Stadium versus the Twins.
The Yankees utilized a variety of replacements at first base the last few days thanks to Teixeira’s absence and some interesting double-switches in the National League ballpark. Teixeira’s substitutes included Brendan Ryan, Kelly Johnson, and Brian McCann, who had never made a start at first base in his career before.
How important is Teixeira to the Yankee lineup? The notoriously slow-starting Teixeira had been making invaluable contributions before sitting out with the injury. His power numbers were shaping up to be like the Teixeira of old: nine home runs and 25 RBI in 125 at-bats.
He’s also been coming through in the clutch. Teixeira is 10-for-30 with runners in scoring position and 2-for-3 with the bases loaded. Overall he is hitting .248 with a .365 OBP, which quantifies his patience at the plate as well.
In addition to the news about Teixeira, the Yankees also heard the best possible news about Carlos Beltran. The switch-hitting outfielder, who has been sidelined on the disabled list since May 13 because of a bone spur in his right elbow, took swings from both sides of the plate on Thursday and did not experience any discomfort. He will repeat the workout on Friday and is hoping to avoid surgery.
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