Mark Teixeira has a broken toe that hasn’t healed, and a bone bruise that isn’t back to 100 percent. He’s been banged up since the Chicago series, and the numbers have shown it. He came back from the bone bruise with three big games, but since September 2, he’s hit just .170 with one extra-base hit and three RBI.
“This has been the toughest two- or three-week stretch I think I’ve had in my career playing through pain,” Teixeira said. “The fact is, I haven’t been producing. If you’re out there playing hurt and you’re doing well, then you can deal with it and you play through it. But it’s affecting my swing. It’s affecting me running the bases (and) playing defense. I’ve got to get healthy.”
Joe Girardi is hopeful that getting two out of three days off with help a little, but he also admitted that chances are Teixeira won’t get back to 100 percent by the end of the year. That broken toe isn’t going to heal quickly with Teixeira running and playing defense, and the hand seems to be a lingering issue that just won’t go away.
That said, there are no plans to give Teixeira an extended period of time off. Teixeira said it’s not even a consideration, and Girardi balked at the idea of a full week off.
“When I told him we were going to give him the day off today he was like, ‘Come on!’” Girardi said. “He wanted to play. I don’t know how he would react to four, five, six or seven days.”
The good news is, Lance Berkman is here and he’s hitting well. He gives the Yankees a good first base alternative against right-handed starters. Although it’s rarely noticeable that Teixeira is hurt — you don’t really see him limping — the results suggest he needs a break.
“I hope it’s realistic (that he can get healthy),” Teixeira said. “We haven’t given it a chance. I haven’t taken any days off except the one with the thumb. Maybe a day off here. Let’s go on a 10-game winning streak and (get) a couple more days off at the end of the season, and hopefully I can be healthy for the playoffs.”
Other than Teixeira, there weren’t many noteworthy items from the clubhouse pregame, unless you count Andy Pettitte walking around in a Hip Hip Jorge t-shirt.
• Nick Swisher was pumped this afternoon. “I’m just excited to be playing,” he said.
• Girardi on Swisher: “We saw him run today. He did some agility drills and did some arcs around the infield. He said he could run 100 percent. In a situation where it’s a ground out and he’s out by a lot, we’re not going to ask him to run 100 percent. We’re going to ask him to protect it a little bit.”
• CC Sabathia takes another shot at 20 wins tonight. “It’s not easy,” Girardi said. “There are a lot of things that have to go right. Sometimes you get no decisions. Sometimes you leave games with leads and the bullpen’s not able to hold it. I think if it were easy, you’d see 10 or 15 pitchers do it every year. You just don’t see it.”
• Forgot to mention it yesterday, but Chad Huffman was claimed off waivers by the Indians.
• Girardi told this story: Late last night, after A.J. Burnett had iced and had been sitting in the clubhouse, he came to the dugout after Alex Rodriguez hit the game-winning home run, wearing shorts and a hoodie. Girardi didn’t notice him, but he heard Burnett yelling from the tunnel for Girardi to get A-Rod so Burnett could give him a high-five. He wasn’t supposed to be in the dugout with his uniform. “I just thought that was really neat,” Girardi said. “He came out here and yelled at me to get Al. It was a nice moment. A.J. really cares.”
UPDATE, 6:23 p.m.: Orioles lineup
Brian Roberts 2B
Robert Andino 3B
Nick Markakis RF
Ty Wigginton 1B
Jake Fox DH
Adam Jones CF
Nolan Reimold LF
Craig Tatum C
Cesar Izturis SS
Associated Press photo of Teixeira