The New York Yankees haven’t had the best off-season and beginning to 2013. After losing Russell Martin and Nick Swisher to free agency and Alex Rodriguez to injury this off-season the Yankees have seen their offense come under further attack from the injury bug. Curtis Granderson broke his forearm in his first spring training at bat on a pitch from J.A. Happ. Now, Mark Teixeira has withdrawn from the World Baseball Classic after suffering a right wrist strain.
The Yankees have reason to be worried with Teixeira’s injury. As a power hitter, a lot of torque is generated in Teixeira’s wrists and any injury to that area is cause for concern. Wrists have a tendency to linger. They are hard to really pinpoint and can sap a player’s power for extended periods of time, even if the player is cleared as healthy.
Right now, Teixeira figures to be out two weeks but he did hear something go “pop” and is in New York to undergo further tests. The Yankees, and Teixeira, hope it is nothing more than a strain.
With Rodriguez out until at least July but possibly the entire season the Yankees were hoping for more production from Teixeira who was slowed by calf and wrist injuries last season and hit only .251/.332/.475 with 24 home runs and 84 RBIs in 123 games. It was the lowest home run output of Teixeira’s career.
More importantly, if Teixeira is out for an extended period of time, who do the Yankees get to play first base? Travis Hafner has experience at the position but he can’t play the field given his history of injuries. Kevin Youkilis is on the roster to replace Alex Rodriguez but the Yankees need him at third base. Dan Johnson was signed to a minor league deal this off-season but he is not someone the Yankees want playing every day. Russ Canzler was on the roster but was removed to make room for Travis Hafner and was claimed by the Baltimore Orioles.
A wild card in the first base situation is Corban Joseph and, to a lesser extent, David Adams. Both young players are slated to be middle infielders for the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Railriders this season. However, Adams is nursing injuries and Joseph has not had a very good spring. Still, they might be better options than Dan Johnson at this point.
Right now, the Yankees don’t need to panic, at least until the results of Teixeira’s tests are in. Once the results are in it could be panic time and it could mean the Yankees pursue Canzler, or a player like him, to play first with Johnson. Right now, it doesn’t look like the Yankees will move Youkilis to first and give the third base to Eduardo Nunez as the Yankees have been adamant about keeping Nunez at shortstop.
The Yankees will have to play a wait and see game until the results are in but this is certainly not the start to the 2013 season the Yankees were hoping for.