Mark Teixeira has been cleared for some light baseball activities. He hopes to play some instructional league games next week in Tampa, but he’s hesitant to set any sort of timetable for when he might be back with the Yankees.
“We tried to do that last time and it kind of put unwanted pressure on everybody,” Teixeira said. “We all wanted me to be back as soon as possible, and I wasn’t ready. I’m just going to take it day by day, and when the doctors tell me that I’m clear, when the trainers tell me that I’m clear, when the strength coach and baseball people all say, ‘You look normal, you’re running fine,’ then I’ll be out there playing.”
Teixeira hasn’t run since aggravating his strained calf a little less than two weeks ago in Baltimore. Today will be his first time swinging in the cage, and he’s been told that if he feels any discomfort, he’s supposed to stop. He’ll travel to Tampa on Monday, and the plan is for him to increase baseball activities down there. The basic thinking is that Teixeira could be back in roughly a week during the Yankees series in Toronto.
“I’d love to get in some games,” Teixeira said. “That’s why I’m going to Tampa because I need to be able to play in some games. … Just being in game situations where I leg out a double, I dive in the hole on a groundball and run to first base, those are things I need to do in a real game situation because we can’t try it out in a playoff game and have me blow out right away. That wouldn’t be good for anybody.”
• Another start for Ichiro Suzuki against a left-hander. That could become the norm going forward. “It’s possible I could give him a day off against a lefty coming up here,” Joe Girardi said. “He played a doubleheader yesterday. I checked to make sure he was OK, he said he feels good. We’ll take it day by day.”
• Ichiro’s playing time would come at the cost of at-bats for Andruw Jones, who’s been awful in the second half. “He’s just struggled,” Girardi said. “He had that great month in July for us, and the second half has been a struggle for him for whatever reason. It hasn’t been just one pitch that’s gotten him out. He’s scuffled, and you look at what Ich is doing, and we’re going with the hot hand.”
• Andy Pettitte said he felt “good soreness, in all the right spots” after yesterday’s five-inning start. He expects to remain on course to make his next scheduled start, probably allowed to reach 85 to 90 pitches.
• Brett Gardner still hasn’t been activated. “It’s probably going to happen here pretty soon,” Girardi said. “But right now, he’s not active yet.”
• Casey McGehee hadn’t started a game since September 7, but he started last night and he’s starting again today. Auditioning to see if he’s a better fit than Steve Pearce as a platoon first baseman? Determining whether he should stick around when Gardner is activated? Who knows?
• Girardi was asked whether he would be managing any differently if the playoff system hadn’t changed so that wild card teams have to play a play-in game. “I’d still be trying to win our division, there’s no doubt about it,” Girardi said. “Would you do a thing different or two? Maybe. The bottom line is you want to win your division and try to have the best record in the AL. That’s the bottom line. Right now, we haven’t accomplished either one of those, so I think you’d still be playing these games like we’re playing them for the most part.”
Associated Press photos