This past off-season and spring training have not been kind to the New York Yankees. Mark Teixeira was someone the Yankees were counting on to pick up the slack from an off-season that saw Russell Martin, Nick Swisher, Eric Chavez and Andruw Jones leave via free agency or to go overseas as in Jones’ case. Then, Curtis Granderson broke his forearm in his first at-bat of the spring and will be out until May. Teixeira injured his wrist in batting practice with Team USA in the World Baseball Classic and he will be out until May as well at the earliest. Now, the Yankees are searching for someone to step in an pick up the slack in Teixeira’s absence.
However, more bad news came today when Teixeira told the media that it is not a wrist strain but is in fact a partially torn tendon sheath, an injury that could potentially require season-ending surgery. This is the same injury that Toronto Blue Jays outfielder Jose Bautista suffered last season that eventually cost him the season.
If Teixeira is out for the season, a real possibility if rehab doesn’t go as planned, the Yankees will have to look for options, something Brian Cashman has been doing since the injury.
Names like Chipper Jones and Derrek Lee have been mentioned by Cashman but both players have decided to stay retired. A few potential replacements might become available as veterans in camps through Major League Baseball opt out of minor league deals rather than report to the minors. Lyle Overbay and Casey Kotchman are two names that come to mind. There is also the possibility of a trade to fill the void.
The Yankees are in a holding pattern at the moment. Juan Rivera has experience playing first and could be a potential stop-gap to start the season while the Yankees wait to see the prognosis of Teixeira’s wrist.
Needless to say, this spring has not been filled with good news but it is not the end of the line for the Yankees. The Yankees were able to overcome quite a few injuries last year and still win 95 games. Perhaps Teixeira’s wrist will heal without surgery, still a real possibility. Even if it does require surgery the Yankees can’t be counted out of anything. For now, Yankees fans, like Brian Cashman and Mark Teixeira, will have to wait and see.