Mark Teixeira done for 2015 with fracture in right leg

Mark Teixeira‘s season is over. Brian Cashman told reporters this afternoon that tests performed on Teixeira’s shin today found a previously undetected fracture. He is done for the year. The small fracture comes with a three-month recovery time, so Teixeira is expected to be ready for Spring Training.

Teixeira, 35, suffered the injury when he fouled a pitch off his shin about four weeks ago. He’d been through all sorts of tests that originally diagnosed him with a bone bruise. Those tests failed to show the fracture for whatever reason. The injury hadn’t healed as hoped in recent weeks, so much so that Teixeira was still walking around the clubhouse on crutches yesterday.

In 111 games this season, Teixeira has hit .255/.357/.548 (144 wRC+) with 31 home runs. He was their best hitter and their team MVP prior the injury. Still is, really. Teixeira has played in only 372 of 624 possible games (59.6%) since the start of 2012 due to a variety of injuries, most notably wrist surgery that limited him to 15 games in 2013.

With Teixeira out, Greg Bird steps in as the full-time first base going forward. He has hit .241/.319/.458 (112 wRC+) with five home runs in his first 24 big league games, which is great on the “22-year-old rookie thrown into a postseason race” scale, but a big step down from Teixeira. So it goes.

Lack of progress means Yankees are more and more likely to be without Teixeira rest of 2015

(Presswire)
(Presswire)

It has now been almost four full weeks since Mark Teixeira was last an everyday player for the Yankees. He fouled that pitch off his shin on August 17th, and aside from a few innings at first base on August 25th and a pinch-hitting appearance on August 26th, Teixeira has not played since. In hindsight, playing on the 25th and 26th should not have happened. But it did and there’s nothing anyone can do about it now.

The injury, specially a bone bruise in Teixeira’s shin with some associated nerve inflammation, has not improved much if at all over these last three weeks and change. Teixeira is still on crutches — he was walking around the clubhouse with just one crutch yesterday, not two, so I guess that’s progress? — and unable to put weight on his injured right leg. Right now, he remains in wait and see mode.

“I can’t walk without pain yet so that’s kind of the first step. My leg just doesn’t really work right now,” said Teixeira to reporters yesterday afternoon. He has not yet put any weight on the leg and certainly hasn’t resumed any sort of baseball activities. Teixeira is due to have tests today just as a check-up, to make sure things are progressing as they should. So far they haven’t, and that a big problem for the Yankees.

Greg Bird has stepped in at first base and been very good at times and rough at others. He’s hitting .241/.319/.458 (112 wRC+) while striking out a ton (30.9%) in 94 plate appearances, which is fine. For a rookie thrust into an everyday job in the middle of a pennant race, that’s pretty awesome. Bird’s defense has not been good, which was expected, and it’s a huge step down from Teixeira. That was inevitable. Teixeira has few peers defensively.

All things considered, Bird has stepped into a difficult situation and done a fine job. Very commendable. But he’s not Teixeira. Not even close, and the Yankees are in a much worse position now than they were with Teixeira four weeks ago. And given the lack of progress, it looks as though they’ll continue to be without Teixeira for a while. Brian Cashman recently admitted he was worried his first baseman would miss the rest of the season and unless today’s tests show substantial progress, it’s looking more and more likely Bird will be the first baseman down the stretch.

“We tried to push it the first time and knew it wasn’t ready. So we have to figure out how much healing’s occurred and when I can push it again,” added Teixeira. “In my mind, I’m playing. I’m still 100 percent (certain). I’m coming back, in my mind. That’s the way I have to go about it.”

The season ends three weeks and two days from today, which means not getting Teixeira back is becoming more and more of a reality. It’s not just a matter of getting the okay from the doctors then jumping back into the lineup. He’ll first have to shake off the rust and get his timing back before helping the Yankees in a meaningful way. It sucks, Teixeira was the team’s MVP before getting hurt, and each day that passes without much progress means they may not get him back at all this year.

Injury News: Nathan Eovaldi, Brett Gardner, Mark Teixeira

And no one was ever healthy again. (Presswire)
And no one was ever healthy again. (Presswire)

Got a bunch of not particular good injury updates to pass along, which come from Brian Cashman via the plethora of beat reporters. Away we go:

  • It “sounds like” Nathan Eovaldi (elbow) will not be able to return during the regular season, said Cashman. That’s not good. Eovaldi could be in play for the postseason, however. He will be shut down two weeks, then begin a two-week throwing program. The regular season ends three weeks and five days from today.
  • As for replacing Eovaldi in the rotation, Cashman said Adam Warren will be stretched back and will soon make another start. Bryan Mitchell was mentioned as another option. A trade isn’t happening. “I think what you’re seeing is what we’ve got,” said the GM.
  • Brett Gardner has been trying to play through a jammed shoulder recently. He hurt himself crashing into a wall making a catch. Gardner, who is not in tonight’s lineup for the second straight day, received a platelet-rich plasma injection the Yankees hope will calm things down. He is available tonight if necessary.
  • Mark Teixeira (leg) received two injections to help relieve some nerve inflammation around the bone bruise in his shin. He’s still on crutches. Cashman admitted he “(does) wonder” whether Teixeira will be able to return this season. Well, at least the team has a viable fill-in at first base.

Game 133: Severino Friday

(Jim McIsaac/Getty)
(Jim McIsaac/Getty)

The Yankees are back home and they’ll be home for a while. This is the start of a ten-game homestand against three division rivals, all of whom have some sort of postseason aspirations. The Rays may be ten games back in the AL East, but they are only 4.5 games back of a wildcard spot. October isn’t out of reach yet.

Young Luis Severino will be on the mound tonight for his sixth big league start and his third at home. The Yankees are 2-3 in his five starts but that’s not Severino’s fault. He has a 2.17 ERA. They just don’t score for him. The Yankees have scored 15 runs in his five starts — six in one game! — and only eight when Severino was actually on the mound. They owe him. Here is Tampa’s lineup and here is New York’s lineup:

  1. CF Jacoby Ellsbury
  2. LF Brett Gardner
  3. RF Carlos Beltran
  4. C Brian McCann
  5. DH Alex Rodriguez
  6. 1B Greg Bird
  7. 3B Chase Headley
  8. SS Didi Gregorius
  9. 2B Stephen Drew
    RHP Luis Severino

It is cloudy in New York but there is no rain in the forecast. It’s pretty cool too. Temperatures have been in the low-80s all day and will dip into the 70s tonight. Tonight’s game is scheduled to begin at 7:05pm ET and you can watch on YES. Enjoy.

Injury Updates: CC Sabathia (knee) threw approximately 60 pitches in a simulated game this afternoon with a heavier brace and felt “great.” The Yankees will see how he feels in the coming days, and if all goes well, he’ll start Wednesday … in case you missed it earlier, Mark Teixeira (leg) was placed on the 15-day DL. It was a procedural move to get Nick Rumbelow back on the roster before his ten days were up. Teixeira, by the way, is still on crutches but said he “100%” expects to play again this season.

Yankees place Mark Teixeira on 15-day DL, recall Nick Rumbelow

(Presswire)
(Presswire)

The Yankees have placed Mark Teixeira on the 15-day DL with a right shin bone bruise, the team announced. The move is retroactive is August 27th. Nick Rumbelow was called up from Triple-A Scranton in a corresponding move.

This is nothing more than a procedural move. Placing Teixeira on the DL allows them to bring Rumbelow back before his ten days in the minors are up. Rumbelow was sent down following last Wednesday’s game and was not eligible to be recalled until Sunday, so this move gets him back two days early.

Teixeira has been sidelined by the bone bruise for nearly three weeks now, but he did play in two games last week (started one, pinch-hit in the other), so they couldn’t backdate the DL stint any further. He’s expected to miss at least another two weeks anyway. The DL move won’t delay his return.

Rumbelow has a 2.79 ERA (3.55 FIP) in 9.2 innings across multiple call-ups this year. The Yankees now have an eleven-man bullpen thanks to expanded rosters, and it’ll become a 12-man bullpen when Nick Goody‘s ten days are up. He was sent down the same day as Rumbelow and will be back this weekend.

Mark Teixeira’s injury will be a significant obstacle down the stretch

(Jim McIsaac/Getty)
(Jim McIsaac/Getty)

Prior to last night’s win, the Yankees got some bad news about their 2015 MVP, or maybe I should say bad news that could have been a lot worse. Mark Teixeira, who left the team Monday and returned to New York to have tests on his shin, does not have any kind of fracture. His bone bruise, however, has not gotten better and he will be on crutches for at least a few days. Brian Cashman said it’ll be at least two weeks until Teixeira returns.

“It just hasn’t been healing in any way, shape or form, and they’ve ruled out any other complications. It’s a timing mechanism and it’s taking a hell of a lot longer than we would have expected,” said Cashman to Wally Matthews. “The biggest concern was a stress fracture, but that’s been ruled out. You would have expected to see some sort of improvement on the bone contusion healing process, and that has not happened. Now he’ll probably be two weeks [before] we’ll get him going.”

Teixeira suffered the injury on a fluke play. All he did was foul a pitch into his shin, which is the kind of thing that happens countless times each season. This one just happened to catch Teixeira in the right spot — or wrong spot, I guess — and he’s been out more than two weeks. The Yankees never did place him on the DL because they thought it would be a day-to-day issue. Obviously that has not been the case. (Rosters are expanded now, so there’s no sense in placing him on the DL at this point.)

If nothing else, at least Tuesday’s news gives us a bit of a reprieve from the daily updates and wondering whether today will be the day Teixeira returns to the lineup. He’s at least two weeks away now. There is never a good time for an injury like this, but right now is an especially bad time given the AL East and wildcard races, and the fact the season ends in the month. There’s a non-zero chance this bone bruise ends Teixeira’s season.

Teixeira is the Yankees’ most irreplaceable player because he’s elite on both sides of the ball. Even with his early-August slump, he is still hitting .255/.357/.548 (145 wRC+) with 31 home runs overall, including a 155 wRC+ against righties and a 118 wRC+ against lefties. Teixeira’s a switch-hitter who has an impact from both sides of the plate. He also plays a mean first base, and you never truly appreciate great first base defense until you don’t get it. The only thing Teixeira doesn’t do well is run. He’s been great at everything else this year.

The Yankees don’t have that guy anymore. Teixeira’s two-way impact is gone. Greg Bird has gotten a chance to sink or swim at first base since Teixeira went gone down, and while playing the kids is exciting, Bird has been a substantial downgrade. He hasn’t hit a whole lot (90 wRC+) and the drop off on defense is painfully obvious. I like Bird and have been especially impressed by his approach. He has a good chance to be the first baseman of the future. It’s also okay to acknowledge he has been a detriment since being pressed into everyday duty.

So now, with Teixeira out, it’s up the other veterans to pick up the slack. To me that means basically everyone in the lineup other than Bird and Didi Gregorius, though Didi has picked up the pace of late. Jacoby Ellsbury and Brett Gardner need to be gangbusters atop the lineup. Carlos Beltran and Brian McCann need to continue to produce and Chase Headley has to sustain his second half surgery. Alex Rodriguez? The longer his slump goes on the less likely it is the Yankees win the division. Pretty simple.

No one player makes a team, not even someone as good as Mike Trout, but Teixeira’s injury is a significant blow to the Yankees. They rely on him heavily both defensively and offensively, in the middle of the lineup against both righties and lefties. Katie explained yesterday just how huge Teixeira has been in high-leverage spots this year. That clutch bat is gone now. Not having Teixeira is a major obstacle the Yankees will have to overcome these next few weeks to return to the postseason.

Game 131: Big Mike in Boston

BIG MIKE IS HERE

Welcome to September. The air is crisp, the leaves are looking a little less green each day, and the dog days of summer are over. This is the stretch run. The final 32 games of the season will determine whether the Yankees win the AL East, settle for a wildcard spot, or miss the postseason entirely. Crunch time, baby. There are no more meaningless games.

The Yankees dropped last night’s series opener to the Red Sox because no one could get a damn hit with the bases loaded, but that was August, this is September. A new month and something of a fresh start, which the Yankees desperately need because August did not go well. They went 14-14 and lost 7.5 games (!) in the standings. Not good. Win tonight, start the final month off on the right foot. Here is the Red Sox’s lineup and here is the Yankees’ lineup:

  1. CF Jacoby Ellsbury
  2. LF Brett Gardner
  3. RF Carlos Beltran
  4. C Brian McCann
  5. DH Alex Rodriguez
  6. 3B Chase Headley
  7. 1B Greg Bird
  8. SS Didi Gregorius
  9. 2B Stephen Drew
    RHP Michael Pineda

Another great weather day in Boston. Sunny and on the cool side with temperatures in the upper-70s. Autumnal. This evening’s game will begin just after 7pm ET and you can watch on YES locally and MLB Network nationally. Enjoy the game.

Injury Update: Mark Teixeira (leg) had an MRI that showed the bone bruise was more significant than the Yankees initially realized. There is no fracture, but Teixeira will be on crutches for a few days. There is no timetable for his return.

Roster Moves: In case you missed it earlier, the Yankees called up eight players on the first day of expanded rosters. Two others lost their 40-man roster spot. Here are all the moves. I’m not repeating ’em all here. Wally Matthews has all the new uniform numbers, if you’re interested.