All spring, Mark Teixeira has spoken with nothing but optimism when discussing his surgically repaired right wrist. No setbacks. Feels strong. Getting better everyday. So it was a little surprising to read this morning that Teixeira has been “not trusting that the wrist is healthy.” Teixeira told Kevin Kernan that he’d been protecting the wrist on left-handed swings, not taking his A swing.
This afternoon, Teixeira explained that holding back has been a subconscious action. It’s not a health problem so much as a mechanical problem.
“It was something I didn’t know I was doing,” Teixeira said. “Kevin (Long) and I have, over the last week, we’ve been really trying to work on me taking my full swing. What I noticed in game film from spring training … (is that) I was protecting my swing the way I was doing last year when I was hurt. I think it’s just bad habits that I got into last year. I really needed to make sure that I was taking my full swing left-handed. The last game was the first game that I felt like all of my swings I was taking my full swing. It felt really good, and the wrist responded well, so that’s a good sign.”
Basically, Teixeira got used to a protective swing last year, and I have to assume he only reinforced those habits when he started easing his way into batting practice this offseason.
“It was unbelievable how early I was letting go of my (left) hand to protect the (right) wrist,” he said. “Just really a bad mechanical thing.”
Teixeira said his wrist feels fine. When he’s taken his full swing the past few days — he’d been subconsciously protecting it even in batting practice — it’s responded well. No issues so far. He believes he’ll be able to drive the ball.
“I will, but in the (spring) games I obviously haven’t,” Teixeira said. “I’ve been hitting some nice line drives, but those line drives I need to get under and hit for home runs. That’ll come. That’ll come with just getting stronger as the season goes on. No one can predict what the season’s going to give you, but what I do know is that through six weeks of spring training, I’m healthy. And that’s a really good sign.”
· The Yankees clubhouse opened to media at 2:15. At that point, none of the on-the-fence players had been told whether they’d made the team. However, Joel Sherman reports that Cesar Cabral will not be in the Opening Day bullpen, and it seems more likely that the Yankees are going to carry Vidal Nuno as a second lefty and extra long man.
· Not sure when an official roster announcement will happen. I’m obviously hoping that it will come before the game (if only so I can get it in the paper a little easier). The Yankees were having a team meeting this afternoon. Maybe the players will be told after the meeting? Not sure. There were no clues in the clubhouse. No newly emptied lockers or anything like that.
· As expected, Masahiro Tanaka is scheduled to pitch out of the bullpen tonight. Hiroki Kuroda will make the start — a shortened start — and Tanaka will pitch multiple innings in relief. Seems possible that he’ll pitch the rest of the game. The only other relievers listed are Shane Greene and Cesar Cabral.
· Michael Pineda threw a side today. Seems likely that he’ll pitch in some capacity either Sunday or Monday in preparation for his first major-league start for the Yankees in the fifth game of the season.
· Today’s second string: C Francisco Cervelli, 1B Jose Gil, 2B Eduardo Nunez, SS Dean Anna, 3B Zelous Wheeler, LF Yangervis Solarte, CF Antoan Richardson, RF Adonis Garcia
· Today’s scheduled relievers: Masahiro Tanaka, Shane Green and Cesar Cabral (with Matt Daley and a few minor league guys list as just-in-case options)
Associated Press photos