Thursday, March 7, 2013
Mark Teixeira will heal before playing
By Andrew Marchand
JUPITER, Fla. -- Yankees first baseman Mark Teixeira said he must resist rushing back from his wrist injury because he doesn't want to risk needing surgery.
"The problem is that doctors told me it is a classic baseball injury," Teixeira said Thursday during a conference call, his first comments since straining his wrist Monday. "Just an overuse injury that I just have to let heal. It is not one of those things I can play through. I can't play at 70 or 80 percent because then you have the opportunity of completely tearing it and then you will need surgery."
The Yankees project Teixeira to be out eight to 10 weeks. In the interim, they aren't exactly sure who will replace him. They could move Kevin Youkilis from third to first base and start Jayson Nix at third, or backup shortstop Eduardo Nunez possibly could play third.
Besides Youkilis, the only other players with major league experience at first are Juan Rivera and Dan Johnson.
The Yankees' lineup is already down Alex Rodriguez -- whose hip surgery is expected to keep him sidelined until at least after the All-Star break -- and Curtis Granderson, who has a broken forearm and will not return until May.
"You don't replace guys like Alex, Tex, Grandy," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. "But you still have to figure out a way to get it done and win games with the guys you have."
Girardi described a wrist injury for a hitter as "scary." The team isn't certain whether the injury will have a long-term impact.
"As long as I don't need surgery, I don't worry about it in the long run," Teixeira said. "It is just a tough injury. Being a baseball player, you really need your wrist. They have to be 100 percent."
A Yankees lineup that led the majors in home runs last season will have only one player who hit more than 20: second baseman Robinson Cano, who had 33. Teixeira is the first to acknowledge that the Yankees have an uphill climb now that he will join Granderson on the disabled list.
"I think we could have easily gotten by with one of us going down," Teixeira said. "The fact of the matter is during a long baseball season, how many times do you really have your whole lineup together at the same time? Unfortunately, when both of us go down, we were probably going to hit [No.] 4, 5 [in the lineup] this year or somewhere around there.
"When you lose your 4, 5 hitters it is going to be tough to get through it, but I have to feel confidence in the guys coming in are going to be able to step in. It is going to be more of a challenge now with both of us down. I like the way some of the young guys are swinging at spring training. I like the way [outfielder] Matt Diaz and Juan Rivera are swinging the bat. Who knows who else is going to be picked up? I think we will be all right."