MLB Network has been airing some footage of Mark Teixeira running in the outfield today. Maybe they’ve shown more than this, but I’ve only seen video of Teixeira jogging straight ahead at a very slow pace. If you’ve seen it and came away thinking he can barely move, it’s worth noting that Teixeira later ran in large, swooping half circles at a pretty good pace.
“Very encouraging,” Teixeira said. “I’m not sure, 10 or 12 sprints out there, got to probably 80 percent. I’m very encouraged with where that was today. … Game speed and practice speed is a little different, anyway. It’s really tough to fully go out when you’re practicing, but I felt pretty good.”
Teixeira is going to try to ramp up the intensity tomorrow. He’s holding onto a slim hope that he might play tomorrow, but he acknowledges that it’s unlikely. Saturday is a more likely best-case scenario.
“I’m not anticipating it (tomorrow), but we’ll see how he feels tomorrow and watch him go through what he needs to go through and make a decision,” Joe Girardi said. “You have to make sure that when he gets out there he’s ready to play and it’s not like a 50-50 chance that it’s going to happen the first night back. You can’t take that chance. We’ve got to feel pretty good that he’s going to be able to remain healthy.”
Teixeira said his calf is still a little “tight,” but he thinks that might be from a lack of activity the past week or so. Running this afternoon was enough to tell him he wasn’t quite ready to play, but it was also enough to tell him he’s close. If the Yankees still had a 10-game lead, he said, he might want to give it a few extra days just in case. As it is, he doesn’t feel that sort of luxury.
“Obviously if we’re up 10 games, I’m probably going to take that extra day or two,” Teixeira said. “When we’re fighting right now for the lead, I’m going to try to come back as quickly as possible. This is the way it is. I want to be out there really badly right now.”
• There’s a chance Ivan Nova could be activated from the disabled list as early as tomorrow, but Girardi said he and Larry Rothschild have not decided how to use Nova going forward. He’s only missed about two weeks, so it’s not absurd to think he could step straight into the rotation. “We’ve just got to talk about, do we want him to throw in another game, a simulated game?” Girardi said.
• The decision on whether to activate Nova will be made tomorrow when the Yankees check to make sure Nova still feels good. Nova threw a bullpen today, so they want to make sure he’s OK a day later.
• Girardi on the decision of whether to use Nova as a starter or reliever: “We just really haven’t talked about it. We considering him a rotation guy. We don’t consider him a bullpen guy. I want to see how he feels tomorrow before we decide what’s next for him.”
• More from Girardi on Nova: “I don’t really have a concern that he could (not) give you 80, 90 pitches. We don’t have that concern because he hasn’t been off that long. If he had been off longer then yeah. I don’t think 80, 90 pitches would be out of the question for him.”
• Andy Pettitte is going to throw another simulated game this weekend. Seems like Saturday is the best bet.
• Robinson Cano told Girardi that he felt ready to play second base today. “He came in, said he felt good,” Girardi said. “I’ll take it for what his word is. Obviously he’ll go through and I’ll check before the game, but I feel pretty good about it.”
• As you’ve probably noticed, Eduardo Nunez hasn’t gotten much playing time since re-joining the Yankees. The team wants him to avoid moving all over the infield, so he’s pretty much limited to DH and shortstop. “It’s possible we’re going to put him in there,” Girardi said. “I’m going to have to make some decisions what we’re going to do, and who’s going to DH the next few days. Does Tex come back as the DH first before a position player? That’s something too I also worry about, is it easier to stay warm all the time than having to get warm for four at-bats. I can’t really tell you.”
• Maybe we can begin putting this to rest soon… Girardi was asked to define his offensive strategy in the wake of the past two days of bunting or not bunting. “Score runs. That’s the bottom line, to score runs,” Girardi said. “You expect your guys to be who they have been in the past and who we predict them to be. I don’t expect Swish to go out there and steal 50 bases. It’s not going to happen. I expect Swish to be an on-base guy that’s going to hit some balls out of the ballpark. He’s going to hit for a pretty good average, an on-base guy that drives in runs. I expect Grandy, he’s going to be a guy that hits his doubles, his triples, his home runs, steal an occasional base. Each guy, we have an expectation what they’re going to be. I don’t expect Jayson Nix to be a 15 or 20 home run guy, so he’s going to play a little bit smaller ball for us.
“You take the guys that you have, what’s expected of them, what they’re good at doing, and you put them in those situations. I’m not going to ask Robbie Cano to bunt with a runner one second with nobody else, because you guys would tell me that I’m absolutely crazy.”
Associated Press photos