The Yankees expect Mark Teixeira to be in the lineup and playing first base tomorrow. After playing in an instructional league game yesterday, Teixeira will go through a normal workout today and rejoin the Yankees when they get home for this final three-game series against the Red Sox.
It will be Teixeira’s first game since aggravating his strained calf injury on September 8, and only his second game since originally hurting himself on August 27. His injury through the month of September, and Alex Rodriguez’s injury through the month of August means it’s been a long time since the Yankees have consistently had two of their middle-of-the-order bats in the lineup at the same time.
“Obviously two middle-of-the-order hitters, number one,” Girardi said. “But two, it gives you the ability not to stack left handers, which is something that we’ve had to fight and at times we’ve been vulnerable to that. It seemed like everyone was throwing left handers against us, and Tex is a huge bat against left handers. It’s affected us.”
The Yankees face two right handers (Buchholz and Matsuzaka) and one lefty (Lester) in this final series against the Red Sox.
• Jayson Nix is expected to miss 10-14 days with a Grade 1 strain of his left hip flexor. That’s playing in games in 10-14 days, not working out in 10-14 days. “We’ll have to see how he is when we get back and maybe he could progress a little bit quicker than that,” Giradi said. “If someone was to go down or you wanted to pinch run for someone, it’s a guy that could really play all over the place.”
• If the Yankees have to play a division tie-breaker on Thursday, Andy Pettitte will get the start.
• Girardi said he hasn’t made any changes to the rotation for the upcoming Boston series. That means Ivan Nova is still lined up to start Tuesday. “We’ll just go day-by-day where we’re at,” Girardi said. “As of right now, we’ve made no changes.”
• When the Yankees struggled with runners in scoring position earlier this season, Girardi leaned on the idea that things would even out in the end. But here we are in Game 159, and it’s still an issue. “I am surprised a little bit by it,” Girardi said. “Is there anything I can do about it? Not really. These guys are professional hitters, and they know how to get it done. Some of it probably falls into some bad luck where you hit some balls hard and they just don’t work out. I expect that they’re going to get it done. That’s my expectation every day.”
• Hard to remember after the way the Yankees played Thursday and Saturday, but the Yankees were playing pretty well before coming to Toronto. They’re 5-0-1 in their past six series. “If you were to look at the series that we’ve played over the last three weeks, we’ve played pretty good series,” Girardi said. “Every series has been pretty good. We didn’t score runs Thursday, we didn’t score runs yesterday. Does that mean we’re not going to score runs the rest of the year? No, it doesn’t.”
Associated Press photos