Saturday, April 5, 2014

Teix's Hammy Not Looking Good

(Courtesy of Getty Images)

And all this time I thought it was his wrist we had to be worried about.  I guess when you consider how much worse it could have been, last night's injury to Mark Teixeira wasn't as bad as it would have been had it been the wrist.  Teix had to leave last night's game in the bottom of the 2nd after taking an off step fielding a foul ball and tweaked his right hamstring.  He called the trainer out onto the field after stretching his leg a few times and after a brief conversation with him and Joe, left the field quickly and angrily.  It's the same hamstring he tore running to first in the 2010 postseason.

The official diagnosis right now is a hamstring strain, although no MRIs or tests have been done to formally evaluate and diagnose the severity.  The plan is for Teix to get some further tests on it when the team returns to New York, but based on how quickly he left the field and his comments after the game about how it felt, it doesn't sound like something that's going to heal up in a few days.  A DL stint appears imminent and could happen as soon as today.

This is obviously the worst thing that could have happened to the already thin Yankee infield.  First base is the one position for which they don't have a real backup.  Kelly Johnson finished the game at first for Teix last night and will fill in the for the time being, but some kind of roster move will have to be made to add some more depth there.  Viable candidates on the 40-man roster are few.  At first glance, Austin Romine seems to make the most sense.  The Yanks could use him and Francisco Cervelli as a half-backup catcher, half-righty first base platoon bat.  It's the only way Romine is going to get meaningful playing time with John Ryan Murphy handling the starting duties in Triple-A, it would allow Joe to keep resting McCann against lefties, and it would give him more infield flexibility to work with, something he's already shown a strong willingness to do.

Long story short, the Yanks can't afford to be without Teix for long.  A Triple-A backup catcher is not what you're looking for as a suitable replacement for a switch-hitting first baseman with power, short or long-term.  The fact that the team didn't send Teix back to New York immediately can be taken as a positive sign if you're looking for silver linings here.  If it was really bad, Teix would have left immediately.  Perhaps this ends up being minor enough that a 15-day DL stint and a few weeks off do the trick.  That would be a manageable situation.  More than that, and the Yanks will have to try to work some more roster magic and lean a little heavier on their pitching.

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