First Pitch: Will Tex be ready for playoffs?

September, 23, 2012
9/23/12
7:00
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Will Mark Teixeira be healthy in time for the playoffs?

The question seems like a legitimate one given the latest news on Teixeira.

He said on Saturday that he feels like his calf injury is progressing but he's hesitant to try any explosive bursts with it -- such as those required to run out of the box or sprint to first base.

"Grounders aren't going to be a problem, hitting's not going to be a problem," Teixeira explained. "It's when you have to accelerate, hit that first step, or maybe a jog to a run. If I overload it ... it feels a little tight, a little sore."

Girardi has said that he believes Teixeira's injury, classified as a Grade 1 strain, would be fully healed by the time the postseason begins on Oct. 6.

But it appears more and more likely that Teixeira will have to play in pain in the postseason, assuming the Yankees make it.

The switch-hitting first baseman jogged for the first time on Saturday and hopes to ramp up his activity on Monday at the Yankees' complex in Tampa.

But, as Teixeira knows, the calf can be a tricky injury.

Here's ESPN injury expert Stephania Bell on the difficult nature of a calf injury:

Writes Bell: The muscle contracts hard to advance the weight of the body when pushing off to run, particularly during the first few steps of sprinting. The concern, naturally, is having a minor injury become something bigger.

That's already happened for Teixeira.

He tried to return from his calf injury earlier this month but aggravated the injury on a sprint to first in Baltimore on Sept. 8.
Now, Teixeira and the Yankees are being cautious with his rehab and return. He doesn't want to come back to the field until he feels comfortable that he can explode out of the batter's box.

"I want be comfortable that I can do those things and not blow out again, because then we're right back to square one," said Teixeira, who is hitting .255 with 23 homers and 81 RBIs.

"The first game of the playoffs, we're down one run and I need to beat out a double or beat out an infield hit and I blow out and miss the rest of the playoffs, then we accomplished nothing."

Question: Do you think Teixeira will be healthy by the playoffs? If not, how effective can he be with the tricky calf injury?
Up Now: Johnette Howard has a column looking at Joe Girardi's managing decisions and how he seems to be in playoff mode already. I have blog posts up on Teixeira's injury, Ivan Nova's rough outing and other post-game notes.

On Deck: The finale of the three-game series with Oakland. Hiroki Kuroda (14-10, 3.26) takes on RHP A.J. Griffin (6-1, 2.45).

Up Now: Johnette Howard has a column Raul Ibanez's resurgence and the Yankees' comeback. I have blog posts up on Eduardo Nunez actually benefitting from an error, Nova's rough outing and other postgame notes from Saturday.

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TEAM LEADERS

BA LEADER
Jacoby Ellsbury
BA HR RBI R
.271 16 70 71
OTHER LEADERS
HRB. McCann 23
RBIB. McCann 75
RB. Gardner 87
OPSB. Gardner .749
WM. Tanaka 13
ERAH. Kuroda 3.71
SOH. Kuroda 146