GM: Mark Teixeira could land on DL
NEW YORK -- Yankees GM Brian Cashman thinks it is likely that first baseman Mark Teixeira will go on the disabled list again because of his injured right wrist.
"I'm leaning, personally, toward a disabled list there," Cashman said on a conference call Monday.
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Cashman, who will make the decision, said that after Teixeira received a cortisone shot for the inflamed tendon in the wrist, the slugger would not play for the Yankees for about a week at minimum.
"I think giving him the extra week will make a lot more sense," Cashman said.
Cashman said Teixeira doesn't yet need season-ending surgery, but the GM wouldn't entirely rule out the possibility.
Teixeira, 33, is hitting .151 with three homers and 12 RBIs in 15 games. Lyle Overbay is replacing Teixeira at first.
Over the weekend, hitting coach Kevin Long said that the wrist injury caused the switch-hitting Teixeira's left-handed swing to lack the "whip and the bat speed you see right-handed." He also said that Teixeira looks like a "shell" of himself.
"I don't think that it's been right since he's been here," Long said.
Cashman said that he would have liked to have heard that from Long before the hitting coach said it to the media.
"It is alarming that K-Long would say that to the group of reporters, but he has never said that prior to that," Cashman said. "This is a lot of times how things work out when things go bad, things get said. If K-Long felt that way, we should have heard that from K-Long, but we never heard that from K-Long.
"Before anyone asks, 'Am I mad at Kevin Long because of it?' No, but do I think that commentary jives eternally in that clubhouse regarding this player prior to him going down? The answer is absolutely not. ... Some people are better with the microphone than others."
Since Teixeira originally hurt the wrist at the World Baseball Classic, MLB's insurance, not the Yankees, paid the portion -- around $7 million -- that Teixeira was owed through the end of May. Even if Teixeira goes back on the disabled list, the Yankees are on the hook for the rest of Teixeira's $22.5 million salary.
After finding out in the spring that Teixeira would not need surgery, Cashman felt the team was very conservative about bringing him back.
"I think we actually went longer to the point the player was publicly complaining about it," Cashman said. "We actually took a very methodical and slow process here, much slower because of the injury, because of the risks associated with it, because of the insurance involved to make sure if this guy is going to come back and we are going to try this, we are on solid ground here that this is something that is going to work."
Entering spring training, third baseman Kevin Youkilis was expected to be the team's primary backup first baseman but was placed on the disabled list for the second time this season with a back injury. On Monday, Youkilis saw back specialist Dr. Robert Watkins, and Cashman said there was no immediate word on his updated diagnosis.
"Back injuries usually don't get better," Cashman said. "They can. They are very debilitating. It is hard to get a handle on. It is definitely a concern. As of right now, I'm not planning on him until they tell me I can plan on him."
Youkilis is hitting .219 with two homers and eight RBIs in 28 games.
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