Archive for Mark Teixeira

11:21am: Teixeira was transferred over to the 60-day DL to clear a 40-man spot for Eduardo Nunez, in case you were wondering.

11:04am: Phelps has been placed on the 15-day DL with a slight forearm strain, the team announced. He had an MRI yesterday and won’t throw for ten days. I would have preferred an option to an injury, arm trouble is never good no matter how minor it appears.

10:41am: The Yankees have activated Eduardo Nunez off the 60-day DL. He is with the team and in this afternoon’s lineup at shortstop. New York already had an open 40-man roster spot, so no problems there has to clear a 40-man roster spot for Nunez, but Mark Teixeira or Kevin Youkilis can be transferred to the 60-day DL without a problem.

No official word on the corresponding roster move yet, but David Phelps is no longer listed on the lineup card and the Tuesday starter for Triple-A Scranton is listed as TBA. That is Phelps’ day. Sure sounds like he was sent down after posting a 6.25 ERA (~3.95 FIP) in his last eight starts, but again, no official word just yet.

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Surgery to repair the tendon sheath in Mark Teixeira‘s right wrist has been recommended, the Yankees announced. He was examined by a total of four doctors: New York-based hand specialists Dr. Michelle Carlson (Hospital for Special Surgery) and Dr. Keith Raskin (NYU), team doctor Dr. Christopher Ahmad, and Dr. Melvin Rosenwasser. Recent tests “confirmed that the sheath has not adequately healed.”

“It’s very tough, especially in a season where the team could probably use me … I really would have loved to be a part of this,” said Teixeira, who confirmed he will likely have the surgery next week. It comes with 4-5 months worth of rehab work, and he won’t be 100% until six months out from surgery. That means he will be healthy in plenty of time for Spring Training barring any setbacks, but the procedure is obviously season-ending.

Teixeira, 33, originally suffered the injury while taking batting practice with Team USA in advance of the World Baseball Classic back in early-March. He rehabbed the wrist and remained on the DL until late-May, with the WBC picking up his salary during that time. In 15 games off the DL, he went 8-for-63 (58 wRC+) with three homers. Teixeira felt discomfort in the wrist two weeks ago and was placed back on the DL with what was originally called inflammation. He received a cortisone shot but still had nagging discomfort a week later.

The Yankees grabbed first baseman Lyle Overbay off the scrap heap as a temporary stopgap in Spring Training, and he’s hit .239/.282/.429 (90 wRC+) in 241 plate appearances this year. At the very least, the team figures to look to acquire a platoon partner given Overbay’s huge platoon split — 106 wRC+ against righties but a 46 wRC+ against lefties. Kevin Youkilis will miss at least 10-12 weeks following back surgery, so he is not an option. Until the Yankees acquire someone else, Overbay will be the everyday first baseman.

Categories : Injuries
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5:41pm: Conflicting reports! Bryan Hoch says the WBC is not on the hook for Teixeira’s salary since the Yankees activated him off the DL. The team will, however, recoup some insurance money while he’s hurt. Either way, someone other than the Yankees are paying part of Teixeira’s salary while he is injured. So there.

12:30pm: Via David Waldstein: The World Baseball Classic is indeed responsible for Mark Teixeira‘s salary during his current DL stint because he went back on the shelf with the same injury. Ken Rosenthal originally reported that would be the case in March, but there was some confusion after the Yankees activated the first baseman off the DL.

Teixeira, 33, is still feeling discomfort in his right wrist after receiving a cortisone shot last week. Even if he doesn’t need season-ending surgery, it seems clear he isn’t particularly close to returning right now. Teixeira earns close to $140k per game, so the Yankees are saving a ton of money due to the injury. They reinvested the portion they saved during his first DL trip on Vernon Wells, so hopefully they make a better move with the savings if he is indeed out long-term. If Tex misses the rest of the year, the Yankees are going to have something like $12.5M extra to play around with at the deadline. That’s huge.

Categories : Asides, Injuries
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Via Wally Matthews: Brian Cashman confirmed Mark Teixeira still has some discomfort in his right wrist even after receiving a cortisone shot last week. “He’s still experiencing soreness … We’re trying to work through it,” said the GM, who also acknowledged season-ending surgery remains a possibility.

Teixeira, 33, missed the first two months of the season with a tendon sheath injury and lasted barely two weeks before having to be placed back on the DL with inflammation. The surgery typically requires a six-month recovery time, which means they could delay the procedure until about mid-August to see if he can return this year without jeopardizing the start of 2014. Either way, the Yankees might want to start looking for a replacement for Lyle Overbay, who has cooled off considerably since April and is down to .243/.287/.437 (93 wRC+) on the year.

Categories : Asides, Injuries
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Going with a rapid fire mailbag today, so nine total questions. The Submit A Tip box in the sidebar is the way to send us anything throughout the week.

(J. Meric/Getty)

(J. Meric/Getty)

John asks: Hypothetically speaking, if the Yankees were to trade Robinson Cano today, what type of package do you think they could expect in return? Considering the new rule that the acquiring team will not get comp picks if they lose him, would the package really be that significant? In Spring Training I think they could’ve gotten, lets say, Oscar Taveras and Shelby Miller from St. Louis. Now I don’t think they would get Taveras by himself. Am I off base?

Half-a-season of Carlos Beltran fetched Zack Wheeler, and Beltran had a clause in his contract that prevented the team from offering arbitration after the season. The Giants knew at the time they would be unable to recoup a draft pick. Beltran was also a corner outfielder with a long injury injury while Cano plays a more premium position and 159+ games a year, every year. There’s no way they should settle for anything less than a prospect of Taveras’ caliber. That said, Matt Carpenter is amazing and the Cardinals no longer need a second baseman. I know they were just an example though. A half-season of Cano should net the Yankees an elite prospect at the very least. I’d want someone MLB ready who could step right into the lineup after the trade.

Humphrey asks: Given the apparent need of the Tigers to improve their bullpen, is this a place the Yankees can match up? Is there something the Yankees could get in return that would be valuable to them?

The Tigers desperately need bullpen help, particularly capable late-game relievers. The problem is that they’re a contender and are unlikely to trade away big league players to get that bullpen. They’ll offer prospects instead, and they don’t have many great ones to offer. Sorry, but you’re not getting Nick Castellanos (or even Avisail Garcia, for that matter) for David Robertson. I can’t see the Yankees weakening the pitching staff, pretty much the only thing keeping them afloat these days, for minor league players who won’t help right away. I don’t see a good fit for anything more than a minor trade.

Travis asks: Do you think Adam Warren will get a shot at starting in 2014 or will he just stay in the bullpen?

Assuming Phil Hughes is allowed to leave and neither Hiroki Kuroda nor Andy Pettitte return, the Yankees will have to come up with three starters next year. Even if they sign some free agents, they won’t all be studs. I expect Warren to come to camp as a starter with the opportunity to win a rotation spot. I do think he’s best suited for the bullpen and have for a few years now. He’s been very good as the long reliever but I think he could also wind up contributing as a more tradition one-inning, late-game reliever at some point. Give him the chance to start though, he’s earned it. If they come to camp with an open rotation spot or two, they owe it to themselves to see what Warren can do.

SMC asks: What would it take to get Danny Espinosa from the Nationals? He’s clearly fallen out of favor with their organization, but he’s a young switch-hitter with power who plays the middle infield well, steals bases, and draws walks.

(Greg Fiume/Getty)

(Greg Fiume/Getty)

I have to preface this by saying I’m a huge Espinosa fan. He was awful this year (23 wRC+) while foolishly trying to play through a chipped bone in his wrist, and he’s since been placed on the DL and then sent to the minors. Espinosa has flirted with 20-20 in each of the last two years and came into this season with a career 98 wRC+. He’s also very good defender who can legitimately play shortstop on an everyday basis. I’d love to get my hands on him at this point while his value is down, especially since Washington has Anthony Rendon at second and seems disinclined to move Ryan Zimmerman off third. I don’t know what the Nationals would want in return, but if they wanted a good but not great prospect like Nik Turley or Ramon Flores, I’d do it in a heartbeat. Espinosa fits the Yankees needs very well going forward even if he is a low-average, strikeout-prone hitter. Power, speed, and defense on the middle infield is hard to find.

Ian asks: If Mark Teixeira‘s wrist is still hurting, what is the point of even trying to bring him back? It clearly isn’t right and isn’t likely to get right given the rigors of the season. Why not accept reality and do the surgery so the team can try to salvage the last three years of this now awful contract?

I disagree that it “isn’t likely to get right given the rigors of the season.” If the doctors say he is healthy enough to play, let him play. He can help the team. Wrist surgery is no small thing, you never want to cut into an important joint like that if it can be avoided.

Donny asks: The Yankees have three potential free agents who could be offered a qualifying offer — Cano, Curtis Granderson, and Hughes. This would result in a total of four first round draft picks, correct? If that is the case, are there any limits on how many compensatory picks a team is allowed or, in theory, could the Yankees have their entire team turn down qualifying offers that then resulted in 26 first round picks? That seems a little ridiculous to me if that is the case, no?

We could add Kuroda to that list as well, he’s definitely a qualifying offer candidate. Hughes is very much on the fence right now. But yes, there is no limit to how many compensation picks a team can have. The idea of letting the entire roster walk and netting 25 additional first rounders is obviously unrealistic, but technically it is possible. I don’t think it’s ridiculous at all either. If you have a lot of good players, you should be able to reap the draft pick reward if they decide to sign elsewhere.

Colin asks: Saw a blurb that the White Sox may look to sell at the deadline. What are the chances they move Alex Rios or Gordon Beckham? Rios would be a great fit for the Yanks right now.

Beckham, even the disappointing version who is just an okay player and not the star he was expected to be, would definitely help the Yankees. I have a hard time trusting Rios though. He is so wildly up and down. Here, look:

Source: FanGraphsAlex Rios

You’ve got a star player one year, a replacement level guy the next, a league average player the next … who knows what’s coming in the future? The 32-year-old Rios has hit well since the startof last season and seems to have figured it out, but is it worth gambling ~$20M through 2014? The Yankees are already saddled with Ichiro Suzuki and Vernon Wells through next year, I’d hate to add another dud outfielder to those two. Plus having Rios and Wells on the same team gives me nightmares about the mid-2000s Blue Jays.

Bill asks: Would never happen but say hypothetically the Dodgers were looking to trade Matt Kemp (once healthy) since they have Carl Crawford, Yasiel Puig and Andre Ethier. What would the Yanks have to offer if they even have enough?

Kemp, 28, was having a terrible year (78 wRC+) before hitting the DL with a hamstring problem. He had left (front) shoulder surgery during the offseason, and the team has acknowledged it is still giving him problems. That said, he put up a 146 wRC+ just last year and nearly went 40-40 in 2011. He’s not old, though he is well-paid (~$140M through 2019). I really don’t know what it would take to acquire Kemp; we don’t have any comparable trades to reference. The first Alex Rodriguez trade maybe? The contract and shoulder should drag the value down a bit, but it’ll still take a huge package. Multiple top prospects, I’m guessing.

Ari asks: Chris Stewart hasn’t hit a double all season. What is the record for plate appearances without one? Can we start the Chris Stewart doubles watch?

I hadn’t even realized Stewart was double-less until this question came in. Stewart has three homers and no other extra-base hits on the season. That’s hard to believe. Anyway, the record for most plate appearances without a double by a non-pitcher is 321 (!), which Rafael Belliard set with 1988 Pirates. Here’s that list, and here’s the list of most double-less games to start a season by a Yankee (doesn’t include last night’s game, but it doesn’t change much):

Rk Strk Start End Games AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SO BB BA OBP SLG OPS
1 Eddie Robinson 1955-04-14 1955-07-22 63 143 23 30 0 0 15 40 21 27 .210 .352 .524 .877
2 Gil McDougald 1955-04-13 1955-06-21 59 209 34 53 0 3 7 21 31 35 .254 .360 .383 .743
3 Phil Rizzuto 1955-04-13 1955-09-05 55 111 12 27 0 1 1 7 15 15 .243 .344 .288 .632
4 Enos Slaughter 1959-04-16 1959-07-25 51 69 9 11 0 0 6 15 17 11 .159 .272 .420 .692
5 Dick Howser 1968-04-13 1968-07-07 48 75 13 11 0 0 0 2 8 19 .147 .326 .147 .473
6 Norm Siebern 1956-06-15 1956-09-29 47 158 26 32 0 4 4 21 37 19 .203 .287 .329 .616
7 Frankie Crosetti 1941-04-18 1941-09-15 43 127 10 29 0 2 1 19 11 16 .228 .329 .283 .612
8 Horace Clarke 1968-04-10 1968-06-05 42 163 14 36 0 0 0 4 15 5 .221 .243 .221 .463
9 Chris Stewart 2013-04-03 2013-06-19 40 118 15 31 0 0 3 10 22 11 .263 .323 .339 .662
10 Bobby Richardson 1961-04-11 1961-05-30 40 157 10 32 0 1 0 10 2 5 .204 .233 .217 .450
Provided by View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 6/20/2013.

Add in last night’s game and Stewart is at 41 games, still sitting in ninth place on that list. At some point he will yank a ground ball passed the third baseman and into the left field corner for a double … right? Yeah, it’ll happen eventually. He has about a month to do it before he sits atop that forgettable list.

Categories : Mailbag
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3:24pm: Both Warren and Almonte have indeed been called up. Teixeira has been placed on the DL and Bootcheck has been designated for assignment.

2:16pm: Via Sweeny Murti: The Yankees will indeed place Mark Teixeira on the 15-day DL with wrist inflammation today. They will use the injury to bring long-reliever Adam Warren back from Triple-A before the ten-day waiting period expires. Murti also hears outfielder Zoilo Almonte could be called up as well, though the team has yet to announce anything. Removing Chris Bootcheck from the roster would be the obvious corresponding move there.

Categories : Asides, Injuries
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During a conference call this afternoon, Brian Cashman provided a bunch of updates on the various injured Yankees. Here’s a recap:

  • Derek Jeter (ankle) took his hacks in batting practice and also off a tee and soft toss. The Cap’n fielded ground balls with a little side-to-side movement for the first time (ever! zing!) as part of his rehab as well.
  • Alex Rodriguez (hip) will face live pitchers on Tuesday for the first time as part of his rehab. Going from simulated games to minor league rehab games to the big leagues is probably a four-week process for a guy who didn’t have a Spring Training, so yeah, All-Star break if everything goes well.
  • Mark Teixeira (wrist) will not be available for at least seven days, and Cashman said he is “leaning personally” towards placing him on the DL. Let’s hope they do that, playing short-handed and potentially bringing him back too soon would suck.
  • Michael Pineda (shoulder) will make his next minor league rehab start with High-A Tampa on Thursday. He’s scheduled to throw 80 pitches. Cashman said Pineda has been sitting 92 and touching 94-95 during his rehab so far.
  • Curtis Granderson (hand) will have the pin removed on Thursday. No word on how long it will be before he can resume baseball activities, but getting the pin taken out is a start.
  • Frankie Cervelli (hand) is still a week or so away from swinging a bat. He has been playing catch and working on receiving drills behind the plate.
  • Eduardo Nunez (ribcage) took some ground balls and did some light hitting off a tee and soft toss. It’s possible he could return before the All-Star break, but Cashman didn’t seem confident.
Categories : Injuries
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An MRI showed inflammation and no new tear in Mark Teixeira‘s right wrist, Joe Girardi announced. The first baseman received a cortisone shot and will be re-evaluated in a few days. He will avoid the DL for the time being. Teixeira is not close to being out of the woods yet, but that’s a surprisingly positive diagnosis.

Categories : Asides, Injuries
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9:26pm: Teixeira has an “aggravated right wrist,” the Yankees announced. He will return to New York to get checked out by the team doctor tomorrow. Probably not a good sign that they aren’t even waiting until the off-day on Monday.

8:32pm: Mark Teixeira left tonight’s game with an apparent right wrist problem after the third inning. Joe Girardi said he “just doesn’t feel like he has the snap in his swing” during the FOX interview while also indicating the first baseman will get the next few days off. Teixeira missed close to three months with a tendon sheath injury earlier this year, and the Yankees indicated there was only a 70% chance he would not require season-ending surgery.

Categories : Asides, Injuries
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The importance of Mark Teixeira

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(Al Bello/Getty)

(Al Bello/Getty)

The Yankees made a huge splash in the free-agent market back in 2009, landing CC Sabathia, Mark Teixeira, Nick Swisher (via a trade), and A.J. Burnett. Each player contributed in a huge way and helped the team bring the 27th World Series Championship back to New York. Teixeira, specifically, had a monster year in 2009 as he batted .292/.383/.565 (.402 wOBA, 142 wRC+) with 39 home runs. FanGraphs valued him at 4.9 WAR (trailing only Miguel Cabrera and Kevin Youkilis among AL first baseman).

Since then, Yankee fans have watched Teixeira steadily decline. Over the past few seasons he’s become increasingly one-dimensional offensively even though his defense has remained very reliable. He’s been far more prone to hitting the ball down the first base line (presumably aiming for that enticing short porch), which in turn, has made him increasingly more susceptible to the defensive shift. Consequently, his batting average has ticked downward by about 40 points from where he has historically hovered prior to coming to New York. Discouragingly, we’ve also seen Tex struggle against right handers the past few seasons as well (last season he batted .239 as LH batter verse righties, .224 in 2011, .244 in 2010, and .282 in 2009), and then show an unwillingness to adapt his approach.

Fortunately for the Yankees, they haven’t exactly been hurting for offense for the last decade or so. During Tex’s tenure in pinstripes alone, the Yankees have been among the top three teams in all of baseball in terms of wOBA and wRC+. At least until now; 2013 is a new animal altogether. For the first time in what seems like forever, the offense is most certainly not the strength of the team. The Yankees rank 21st in AVG, 19th in wOBA, 24th in wRC+, 19th in K%, and 19th in BB%. Ironically, the only offensive category that the Yankees favorably crack the top 10 in this season so far is in home runs (68 in total, eighth best in MLB — so much for the #toomanyhomers meme).

This is where Tex steps in, and where I personally think he could play a huge role if he can rebound a bit. Immediately, he (and Youkilis) will provide some additional patience to the lineup. As of now, the Yankees have averaged 3.79 pitches per plate appearances – for perspective, 2012′s squad averaged 3.89 Pit/PA, 3.92 in 2011, 3.92 in 2010, and 3.88 in 2009. Power and patience. That’s the Yankees model. It works, and Tex knows how to do it.

With Vernon Wells cooling off and Travis Hafner always one step away from injury, Robinson Cano has been forced to shoulder much of the load in the power department. Home runs are always a good thing and one part of Tex’s game that has always been solid is deep out-of-the-park hits. With a little luck, it may help stem the tide a bit further until the rest of the Walking Wounded return. A few consecutive singles are nice. They’re even nicer when a 4o0-foot blast brings them home.

Additionally, Cano, Lyle Overbay, Brett Gardner, Ichiro Suzuki, Curtis Granderson and Hafner are really all the Yankees have for left-handed threats. Gardner’s been better of late with the bat, but he’s not the guy who’ll be driving in runs nor is that his role. Given Ichiro‘s struggles, Granderson’s injury, and Hafner’s durability concerns, it’ll be very nice to add another guy capable of batting left-handed. Even if Tex’s splits this season are similar to his last few, he’ll also still likely be an offensive upgrade over Overbay (despite the fact that Overbay is having a great year by his standards thus far). Moreover, having another switch-hitter available provides that much more lineup flexibility for Girardi.

Defensively, Tex provides some options too. As we’ve seen the last few days, Overbay could get some opportunities in right field, which will help mitigate Ichiro’s exposure. When Overbay is at first, Tex can give Pronk a spell at DH which provides him rest and aligns him closer to the situational hitting role he was originally hired for. This also limits the need for Youkilis at first on the depth chart, which can only help given his injury tendencies. Third base and shortstop are still points of concern, but that was basically always the case. At least with Tex at first, you know some of those inevitable throwing errors to first may have a chance of being erased.

The Yankees have done a fantastic job of not just staying alive, but staying competitive with role players while some of their headliner names have been side-lined. However, some of these role players (i.e. Jayson Nix, David Adams, Wells, Overbay) are clearly playing above their norms, or in some cases, have already begun to be exposed. Who knows how long the team can continue to win with these guys starting all the time. Now that some of the marquee players are beginning to return from their various injuries, it’s time for them to step up and contribute. Hopefully they’ll be able to sustain the success, and be a lot less likely to falter down the road. I hope Tex gets the ball the rolling.

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