The video above is Mark Teixeira talking about the current state of his wrist injury. Teixeira said he feels strong, feels healthy and can’t really tell there was ever a problem. Kevin Youkilis said a lot of the same things; said he feels strong, feels healthy and has the added comfort of knowing he’s returned from back injuries before.
For several weeks — or months in Teixeira’s case — those details have been the ones that mattered. Were they getting stronger? Were they getting healthy? How soon would they be able to play? Now the only details that matter are the results on the field.
“I don’t think there’s any pressure on me,” Youkilis said. “I’m just one person. For me, I’m an individual of nine that are going to go in the batting order, and collectively we’ve got to get it done. Some days you’re going to do great, some days other guys are going to do great. That’s just the game of baseball. There are a lot of ups and downs. You hope your guys can click. Usually it’s a few guys clicking at the same time that always helps out.”
As expected, Teixeira and Youkilis moved immediately into prominent spots in the batting order. They’ll be asked to contribute right away. There is no easing in process. They’re here to play.
“Am I going to go 4-for-4 tonight?” Teixeira said. “I hope so, but probably not. But over the next four months I feel like I’m going to help the team win. And that’s the same with Derek, the same with Curtis, the same with Kevin or Alex. All the guys we have hurt, they make us better whenever we’re in the lineup.”
That’s the idea anyway.
It was pointed out during Teixeira’s press conference that just one week ago, the return of Teixeira and Youkilis might have been a pair of veteran additions to a team that was playing well. Now, with the Red Sox in town and the Yankees having lost five in a row, there’s a real sense of this lineup needing a boost. Maybe these two can provide it. For now, we only know they’re healthy. Time to move on to what’s next, and that’s actual production.
“The players in the locker room, they don’t worry, ‘Oh, where’s Tex?'” Teixeira said. “There’s not anybody in there who’s saying, ‘When’s Tex coming back? When’s Youk coming back? But I think what it is is, it’s nice when we come in. We walk in the door, and it’s like, we have one more of our guys back; we have two more of our guys back. Those five-game losing streaks, maybe they don’t happen if we have our whole team. Maybe we can pick it up a little bit quicker, and turn it around a little bit quicker. We’re just happy to be back with the guys trying to win games.”
• Both Vidal Nuno and Ivan Nova will move into the Triple-A rotation. The move is hardly a surprise for Nuno — and Nuno didn’t seem surprised — but there’s something a little surprising about Nova. He was one of the obvious candidates, but he’d also pitched well last time out. “(He’s going down) to be a starter, because that’s what we envision him as,” Joe Girardi said. “I think he threw 60 something pitches the other day. We need to get him stretched out, doing what he’s capable of doing.”
• Obviously the Yankees are postponing their more difficult decision. For now they’re carrying an extra position player and only four starters, but that will change when Andy Pettitte is activated on Monday. Girardi has basically made it clear that he plans to keep both shortstops, and Brian Cashman has made it clear that David Adams isn’t going anywhere. It doesn’t seem to be shaping up as good news for Lyle Overbay. “We’ll talk about different scenarios and different ideas,” Girardi said. “Who knows? Things could change by then. We’ll just continue to discuss it. We’ve got plenty of time.”
• If you’re wondering, Girardi made it clear that Adams is not an option at shortstop.
• Why put Youkilis at DH? “He’s probably more accustomed to do it than a guy like David Adams,” Girardi said. “I figured we would do it that way.” Girardi also mentioned the fact that both Youkilis and Teixeira have already played two days in a row. I wouldn’t be stunned to see Teixeira at DH tomorrow.
• Youkilis and Teixeira are pretty patient hitters, and the Yankees haven’t walked in three games. “That’s unusual for our club,” Girardi said. “I don’t think we’re a club that maybe walks as much as some of the other clubs have been here. I think the Mets threw a lot of strikes against us. Hopefully that changes tonight and we get back to doing some of those things.”
• It gets a little overshadowed, but CC Sabathia is actually pitching this game. And he’s been pretty bad lately. “A lot of times we look for reasons why things happen,” Girardi said. “Sometimes things just happen and as players you have to learn to deal with things and make adjustments. I couldn’t tell you it’s from his elbow.”
• Anything Teixeira can do to avoid his typical slow start? “If anyone has any tips that they can give me, I’m up for tips,” Teixeira said. “But you just have to go out and play. There’s a rhythm you have to get into. Hopefully that rhythm doesn’t take long at all. A lot of work in Tampa, a lot of at-bats in Tampa, and once you get into that game rhythm of playing every day in the big leagues, hopefully I’ll be back to being myself pretty soon here.”
Associated Press photo