The Yankees haven’t seen MRI results on Mark Teixeira’s hamstring, but they know it’s an injury likely to require more than a day or two, so he’s on the disabled list. Four games into the season, the Yankees have their first significant injury to an everyday player.
“We don’t think it’s a bad strain,” Joe Girardi said. “Obviously we’ll have a test on Monday when he gets back, but we just felt it was in the best interest of him and us to put him on the DL, that way he doesn’t keep testing it and make it worse.”
Losing Teixeira for at least two weeks impacts several players…
“He’s our first baseman now,” Girardi said. Basically, it sounds like Johnson will be the everyday guy at first with some chance of either a utility infielder — or possibly Francisco Cervelli — getting some time there at some point. Until Teixeira gets back, or until another move is made, it sounds like Johnson will be a first baseman first and foremost. Which means third base is open to someone like…
“I can put Anna (at third base) too if I feel like he needs the day or we like the matchup a little bit better, but (Solarte)’s playing great so I’m going to leave him there,” Girardi said. Essentially, Solarte has just stumbled into regular playing time. He came into Yankees camp looking for an opportunity, but I can’t imagine he would have imagined an opportunity quite like this. Could see him a whole lot the next two weeks, leaving Dean Anna as the only true backup infielder, unless the Yankees decide to try…
He’s routinely taken ground balls in the infield, and the Yankees have used Cervelli at second and third in emergency situations in the past. Now that Austin Romine is on the roster as a third catcher, Cervelli is free to pinch hit at the very least, and maybe play some first base if necessary. Girardi said he considers Solarte, Anna and Cervelli each to be backup options at first. Alfonso Soriano and Brian McCann are not considered options (McCann has never played there; the Yankees scrapped plans to have Soriano possibly spend a little bit of time there in spring training). For whatever it’s worth, Romine said he played some first base before he turned pro, and he was taking ground balls at first base in Triple-A. As far as adding depth in the batting order, that might fall on…
The obvious move to make with the lineup is to move Soriano up one spot to become the No. 5 hitter behind McCann. When the season started, the Yankees had switch hitters in the Nos. 3 and 5 spots, and that left Soriano to provide pretty good power potential in the No. 6 hole. Now Soriano will have to move up, basically giving the Yankees a Beltran-McCann-Soriano trio in the heart of the order. Johnson has some pop as well. Wonder if he’ll jump up a few spots to bat sixth regularly, or if Brett Gardner will move up into that spot. “(Teixeira)’s a switch hitter in the middle of our order that really helps our lineup and helps us at first,” Girardi said. “But we’re going to have to figure it out.”
· Romine showed up this morning after a horrible flight from Syracuse. Said he honestly worried he might die during a shaky attempt at a landing. Seems likely that he’ll be little more than a third-string backup, but that might depend on how Girardi uses Cervelli going forward.
· The plan was to give Brian Roberts a day off yesterday, but Roberts entered the game in the second inning, so he basically played a full game and was given a day off today instead. Girardi was worried about early injuries anyway, and the Teixeira situation certainly hasn’t changed his opinion. “(Roberts) played the whole day yesterday, and we’ve got to be smart with him,” Girardi said. “As I told you, my concern about this initial stretch is fatigue and guys pulling stuff.”
· After pitching back-to-back days, Dave Robertson is not available today. Girardi said he might let Robertson go three in a row later in the season, but not this early. Girardi said that “depending on where they are in the lineup,” it’s likely Shawn Kelley will serve as the Yankees closer today.
· Dellin Betances was terrific in his season debut, but he was wild yesterday. Girardi seemed not to make much of it. “Just didn’t throw strikes,” Girardi said. “He was a little off yesterday. It looked like, the last hitter he was falling off a little bit. We’ll get that righted.”
· Update on Brendan Ryan? “He’s still not really doing much,” Girardi said.
· Finally, it’s time to see Michael Pineda in a big league game for the Yankees. Finally. “Seeing that he hasn’t been on a big league rubber for a couple of years, I would think he’d be a little bit anxious,” Girardi said. “But hopefully he calms down fairly quickly. … Continue to throw the ball like he was. He was throwing the ball great in spring training. We loved what we saw. Mixing his three pitches, I think that’s important against this team.”
Associated Press photos