Mark Teixeira took batting practice, seemed just fine, and walked off the field without talking to media. The expectation is that he’s going to stay in the lineup for tonight’s series opener against the Athletics.
“It feels better,” Teixeira said before BP. “I saw the doctor yesterday. We think the shot has worked. Hopefully it will continue to feel better, hopefully that’s today. I’ll see in a couple minutes.”
Girardi said he posted today’s lineup without checking with Teixeira. If it has to change, it will change, but so far there’s no indication that’s going to happen.
“I think you’re going to watch it for a while to see how he does and make sure,” Girardi said. “Hopefully it’s cleared up and it doesn’t come back. Obviously I’m going to pay close attention to it and see how he’s feeling. If it gets him, it will probably be more hitting left handed than right handed.”
With that in mind, it’s worth noting that the Yankees face a left-handed starter tonight, a right-handed starter tomorrow, and then another lefty on Thursday. It might make sense to have Teixeira play tonight, sit tomorrow, and play again on Thursday, but Girardi suggested that’s not part of the plan. If Teixeira feels good, it sounds like he’s going to keep playing.
“I’m not so sure that there’s more pain (batting left-handed),” Girardi said. “When it started bothering him, he was hitting mostly left-handed. Hopefully he takes BP and it’s all cleared up and we don’t really have any issues.”
Goes without saying that the Yankees lineup could use him. This team has hit five home runs in its past 15 games, and Teixeira has been their best home run threat this season. It’s entirely possible the team could have both Teixeira and Carlos Beltran back in the lineup by the end of the week, which could change this lineup quite a bit.
“I think it’s important that they do what they’re capable of doing,” Girardi said. “We know that they’re extremely capable of being run producers and driving the ball – doubles, home runs. The one thing is, you can’t put too much on their plate and say, you have to carry us, because it has to be consistency up and down the lineup. But when you add those two guys, your lineup gets deeper, and that helps as well.”
• Carlos Beltran went 2-for-4 with a walk in today’s extended spring training game. “The reports were good,” Girardi said. Beltran could be activated for Friday’s series opener in Kansas City. “It’s possible,” Girardi said. “I think it’s fair just to see how he does these three or four days and then you make a decision, but I don’t think that’s out of the question.”
• It’s worth noting that the Yankees had Beltran take all right-handed swings today. Girardi said that’s strictly because he hit only left-handed yesterday and the Yankees want him to get at-bat from both sides. He’s cleared to hit both ways, just got some right-handed reps today.
• Scott Sizemore is here. He said he was told a couple of days ago that the Yankees might make a move fairly soon. He’s replaced Zoilo Almonte, who didn’t really have an obvious role. He wasn’t getting playing time against right-handers, and he hasn’t been a very good hitter against lefties. Sizemore is specifically a pretty good hitter against lefties — he was hitting .330/.347/.444 against lefties in Triple-A, so he’s in the lineup tonight and will surely be in there again on Thursday.
• Kind of expected Sizemore to be a short-term move until Beltran is activated, but Girardi made it sound like Sizemore could be here for a while. “We’re going to see two lefties here (against Oakland),” Girardi said. “We’re going to see two lefties in Kansas City. We’ll probably run into one in Seattle, and then the next city is too far away to count that far. So we’re going to see a lot of left-handers.” Could be nothing more than Sizemore is a better fit than Almonte, but he’ll still be the one to go when Beltran shows up. The alternative would be, what, designating Kelly Johnson? I just don’t see that happening, but you never know.
• The Yankees have claimed 29-year-old lefty Wade LeBlanc off waivers from the Angels. A source says he’ll be with the big league team tomorrow to work as a reliever. LeBlanc was once a pretty good prospect with the Padres. He signed a minor league deal with the Angels this offseason, pitched pretty well in the hitter-friendly Pacific Coast League (he was working as a starter), and he made his only major-league appearance of the year on Friday when he pitched some long relief in Oakland.
• Can’t imagine LeBlanc’s addition is good news for Alfredo Aceves. “With the way our bullpen is constructed, we have one left-hander,” Girardi said. “It possibly gives you an option for two left-handers.”
• Shawn Kelley is still on schedule to pitch a simulated game tomorrow.
• Masahiro Tanaka was named the American League Pitcher of the Month. He seemed pretty underwhelmed by the whole thing. Proud and honored and all that, but he said he doesn’t take it as some sort of proof that he’s made it. Not the first award of his career. Probably not the last.
• The tarp is on the field here at Yankee Stadium. Pretty decent chance of rain tonight. No word yet on starting in a delay, but that seems possible, if not likely.
Associated Press photos