Thursday, April 17, 2014

Injury Updates: Teix, D-Rob, Ryan

Got a trio of updates on the injured Major Leaguers who are close to returning, courtesy of Chad Jennings:

Mark Teixeira- Played 3 innings in an ExST game this afternoon at the team complex and came through with no hamstring issues.  He's scheduled to play 5 innings tomorrow, a few on Saturday, and then rejoin the team Sunday.

David Robertson- Threw a 25-pitch bullpen session this afternoon and felt good.  He'll pitch in an ExST game on Saturday and if he comes through that fine he'll be activated on Tuesday.

Brendan Ryan- Apparently he's farther along than I released.  Joe said he's been taking swings and he could get into an ExST game on Saturday as well.  Because he missed so much time in ST, the Yanks will let him get more MiL ABs to get his timing back.  No exact timetable for his return, but it could be by early May.

Basking In The Good Pitching Afterglow

(Courtesy of Getty Images)

Quality of opponent being what it was, yesterday's doubleheader shutout was still a splendid performance by the Yankee pitching staff.  They got very good to outstanding outings from 2 25-year-old starters and some solid bullpen work from a bunch of mostly young and unheralded pitchers all working in higher-leverage roles thanks to the closer being on the DL.  It was a continuation of what has quickly been established as the norm for this group since the opening week of the season.  These guys can pitch, all of them, and they've been the driving force behind the Yankees' early success.

The Yanks open a weekend series tonight in Tampa with the 2nd best record in the American League, a place atop the AL East, and they've done it mainly on the back of their pitching staff while the new lineup continues to work out the kinks and find its way.  It's a very refreshing change of pace from where the rotation was early in the year last season, and I'd like to take a few moments to enjoy it.

Report: Teix Slated For 3 Rehab Innings Today

 The next best bit of good news after the 2-0, double shutout, doubleheader sweep yesterday was the news above on Mark Teixeira.  He went to Tampa earlier in the week to ramp up his rehab work on his strained hamstring and based on this report, it sounds like he's going to be golden to come off the DL on Sunday as he originally planned.  Teix will play 3 innings in a MiL game today, most likely for the Tampa Yankees.  I'm not sure if it will be at first base or DH, but considering he participated in full batting practice and ran the bases yesterday, I'd say first is more likely.

Barring any setbacks after today's game, I expect the Yanks to play him in a few more rehab games through Saturday and then activate him for the series finale in Tampa on Sunday.  The wins yesterday were great, but don't forget that the offense only scored 5 runs in those 2 games.  They could definitely use Teix's presence and bat back in the lineup ASAP.

Game 15 Wrap-Up: NYY 2 CHC 0

(Courtesy of Getty Images)

Tanaka put the Cubs lineup in a body bag in game 1 of yesterday's doubleheader, carving them up with a sick mix of 4-seamers, sinkers, slide pieces, and splitsvilles.  He passed the baton to Michael Pineda for the second game, and Pineda picked up right where Tanaka left off.  There were 18 innings of baseball played by the Yankees and Cubs yesterday.  The Cubs didn't score a run in any of them.

Game Notes:

- The story early was missed opportunities for the lineup.  They couldn't capitalize on a 2 on/2 out situation in the 1st, they wasted a leadoff single in the 2nd, and they couldn't push a run across with runners on the corners and 1 out in the 3rd.

- Luckily for them, Big Mike was on his game again.  He cruised through the first 3 innings by retiring the first 7 batters he faced, then squashed a potential 2-out rally with a strike 'em out-throw 'em out double play to end the 4th.  His cutter looked good and he was using the changeup well against lefties.

- The Yanks finally broke through for a run in the bottom of the 4th when John Ryan Murphy and Brett Gardner strung together a pair of 2-out base hits.  Scott Sizemore, hitless in the first game, scored the run after a base knock of his own.

- Things got a little sticky for Pineda in the 5th when he put the first 2 runners on, but he worked out of the jam with a strikeout and a flyout and finished his night with 6 scoreless innings.  Another great outing.

- Sizemore scored the first run and he drove in the second in the bottom of the 5th.  It was another 2-out RBI single, all the offense the bullpen would need.

- The rested 'pen was solid in relief of Pineda.  David Phelps worked 1.1 scoreless, Matt Thornton got the 2 lefties he was brought in to face out, and Adam Warren picked up the save in the 9th.