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Mark Teixeira to miss at least the first week of spring games

Feb 21, 2014, 6:58 AM EDT

Mark Teixeira AP

George A. King III of the New York Post reports that Mark Teixeira (wrist) isn’t likely to play in Grapefruit League games until March 3, at the earliest.

His wrist is still tight, though there is no pain and he hasn’t had any setbacks. He said earlier this month that it could be June before he loses that tightness. I think one of the bigger questions for the Yankees is what they’ll get, if anything, from Teixeira this year. If he’s not productive they’re going to be relying pretty heavily on a small number of guys.

  1. proudlycanadian - Feb 21, 2014 at 7:06 AM

    A bit early for the Yankee “Doom Watch” to begin.

    • historiophiliac - Feb 21, 2014 at 8:17 AM

      I’d get all excited about Doom Watch, but it’s so 2013 — and Fister and Prince to Joba and Kinsler. People in glass houses, you know?

    • themuddychicken - Feb 21, 2014 at 8:57 AM

      DOOOOOOOM!!!

  2. halladaysbiceps - Feb 21, 2014 at 7:08 AM

    The Yankees will have a really good ball club this year, regardless of Teixeria’s health. I love the moves they made this year. They went out and spent good money, in my estimation, on the best FA catcher, really good center-fielder and a pitcher in Japan that went 24-0 with a 1.27 ERA. The Yankees usually do it right.

    • spudchukar - Feb 21, 2014 at 8:54 AM

      Those signings were important, but they still have holes to fill. Most prognosticators don’t rank them in the top ten coming into the 2014 season. That might be somewhat pessimistic, and there is still time for acquisitions, but currently they have no third baseman, no set-up guy, and are hoping Texeira, Jeter, Roberts, and Pineda can contribute like the old days. It isn’t prudent to hope in Baseball. Questions still surround Sabathia, Nova, and Kelly. Add Sizemore to the mix and an awful lot of “ifs” are present. Maybe all scenarios will pan out, but the odds of that aren’t great. My guess is some will and some won’t. If the number of “won’ts” get to three then they aren’t a play-off team.

      • halladaysbiceps - Feb 21, 2014 at 9:07 AM

        You make valid points, but set-up guys sort themselves out and 3rd base will also do the same. If you want to call the Yankees old, so be it. But, I wouldn’t underestimate a team that just did what they did in free agency. To dismiss that is foolish.

      • spudchukar - Feb 21, 2014 at 9:14 AM

        The “sort themselves out” hypothesis, is what is foolish. Why add anybody if things “sort themselves out”. I could see a scenario where some of the young bull pen guys move up and fill the set-up roles, but third base looks like a real hole. Kelly, Nunez, and Sizemore are all very questionable, and that is a position where offense needs to come from.

    • tuberippin - Feb 21, 2014 at 9:03 AM

      Also, Beltran.

      But if Tex can’t produce much (and it sounds like the power will be missing from his hitting) that infield will be garbage from left to right. If Ellsbury and/or Beltran miss a lot of time (and there’s a good chance 1 of the 2 misses a chunk of games over the course of the season), then you’re leaning very heavily on Brian McCann, Brett Gardner, Ichiro, and some fairly shaky pitching.

  3. halladaysbiceps - Feb 21, 2014 at 7:34 AM

    Unrelated, but I was looking up Masahiro Tanaka’s career stats on baseball reference. They are ridiculous:

    99-35, 2.30 ERA, 1.108 WHIP and 275 walks in 6 YEARS of pitching. Are you kidding me??? I wanted the Phillies to sign this guy so badly. I don’t know what Tanaka will do in MLB, but if scouting reports are correct, this dude will dominate.

  4. NatsLady - Feb 21, 2014 at 7:56 AM

    If it’s anything like Werth’s, he may bat this year, but without much power. Werth broke his wrist in May of 2012 and didn’t recover his power until mid-season of 2013.

  5. toodrunktotastethischicken - Feb 21, 2014 at 8:05 AM

    Who would be the backup 1B? Kelly Johnson?

    • 18thstreet - Feb 21, 2014 at 9:15 AM

      And — followup question — if Kelly Johnson is playing first (which is the plan, according to the Yankees.com depth chart), then who is playing third?

      Is it possible for Beltran to learn to play first base?

      I suppose they can put McCann there, but would negate A LOT of his value. As a catcher, McCann’s numbers are terrific. As a first baseman, I think those number are almost below average. (Fangraphs lists Steamer and Oliver as projections — .333 OBP, .480 slugging. That’s Mike Napoli’s ($14M) slugging percentage, but a rather pedestrian OBP.)

    • sandwiches4ever - Feb 21, 2014 at 6:09 PM

      I hear Kevin Maas is available.

  6. tysonpunchinguterus - Feb 21, 2014 at 8:33 AM

    Last season the Yankees won 85 games and the only 2 regulars with an OBP over .310 were Cano and Gardner. Adding Beltran, Ellsbury, and McCann will certainly help them out. Even with Cano gone that gives them 2 more reliable bats than they had last year and if Jeter is healthy that’s another one. I don’t know if relying on 4-5 consistent hitters (plus Soriano for a full season) is really a bad thing. They should have a lot more guys on base this season. It would be a big boost to have Tex back healthy and all year and adding 30 HRs to the lineup but I really don’t think their season hinges on him after the offseason additions they made.

    • halladaysbiceps - Feb 21, 2014 at 8:38 AM

      I agree on all your points. The good thing about 1st base is that it’s a position that can be filled by any healthy hitter. The Yankees will be very good regardless of Tex.

    • spudchukar - Feb 21, 2014 at 9:06 AM

      Pythagoras suggests the Yanks were fortunate in 2013, by about 7 games so believing 85 as a starting point isn’t realistic. I agree that the Ellsbury addition should help their OBP, but thump could be an issue. They only have 4 guys with power. And on many days 1 of those guys will be “rested”, cause McCann, Beltran, Soriano, and Texeira aren’t 150 game players anymore. Getting guys “in” may be more of an issue than getting guys “on”.

      • tysonpunchinguterus - Feb 21, 2014 at 10:10 AM

        Quite honestly, I don’t buy those computer projections. No matter what record some program came up with, they won 85 games. They are now very solid at all 3 OF positions (instead of just 1), catcher, and DH. 3B should be an improvement over last year with Johnson there. A healthy Jeter is an upgrade at SS no matter what people want to say about his defense. Even if he’s not hitting .315 I’d be shocked if he falls of the face of the earth. Rotating guys through the DH slot will help keep their bats in the lineup. If Beltran needs a rest, he can DH and Soriano can play the outfield.

        Even if guys need a complete day off, their backups will be guys they had starting for much of last season (Romine, Ichiro, Nunez). I think their bench is pretty good, but those guys shouldn’t be everyday players at this point and that’s what they were last year. Beltran played in 151 games in 2012 and 145 last year. With the DH in the AL, I don’t see why he shouldn’t at least match that unless he gets hurt.

        I’m not as concerned with their lack of HRs. They added 2 guys who should each hit 20+ HRs, have Soriano for a full season, and none of the 3 new bats should come anywhere near Granderson’s insane K totals. Of the group, only Beltran has ever even struck out over 100 times in a season. Adding Ellsbury to the lineup that already had Gardner gives them 2 of the fastest players in the AL. The all-or-nothing HR approach hasn’t worked out very well for them in recent postseasons, so maybe getting back to a more balanced lineup will be an improvement. HRs are nice, but a solo HR isn’t as good as a 2-run double. Their 1998 team had no players with 30 HRs, but their starters all had an OBP of .350 or higher. Granderson only did that once with the Yankees (2011). His OBP in 2012 was under .320. The HRs were nice and he seemed like a great guy, but I’d rather have Ellsbury’s speed and OBP.

      • 18thstreet - Feb 21, 2014 at 10:16 AM

        Soriano has been playing 150 games a year almost every year. And with most of his plate appearances coming at DH, there’s no reason to think he won’t do so again. He’s also a remarkably consistent player — check out these graphs — http://www.fangraphs.com/graphs.aspx?playerid=847&position=2B/OF&page=0&type=mini so we can expect a league-average OBP around .320 and a slugging percentage around .500. He drops quite a bit against righties, but still hits them well enough that he wouldn’t need to be platooned.

        It’s reasonable to expect that he’ll get some time in left when there’s a lefty on the mound and the Yankees want to give Ellsbury a day off, allowing someone else to DH for a day. Fact is, because Soriano is so overpaid, it has led people to think he’s a bad player. He really isn’t.

      • Alex K - Feb 21, 2014 at 11:09 AM

        Pythag win projections aren’t spit out by a computer. They use the runs scored and runs allowed by the team in a given season to give an idea of what thier expected wins should be. It’s not perfect, but it’s a nice little baseline to work off.

        I think the Yankees were quite fortunate to win 85 games last year given all their injury problems. While they have gotten better this year the threat of injury doesn’t go away when you have multiple key players over 35. If Teixeira isn’t ready to go right away then they are going to have to make the choice of where to play Johnson. If they have to put Johnson at 1st and Nunez at 3rd then they really aren’t all that much better off. Also, I wouldn’t count on Brian Roberts to play more than 75 games considering the most he’s played since 2009 is 77. A very real possibility is Teix can’t go at the begining of the season and Roberts gets hurt in Spring Training. That means the starting infield will be Johnson at 1st, Scott Sizemore at 2nd (no bet to stay healthy, either), Jeter at SS, and Nunez at 3rd. That’s not what I would call a good infield.

      • spudchukar - Feb 21, 2014 at 11:40 AM

        What I have to keep reminding Yankee fans is the overload at DH. If Soriano does indeed occupy that spot for 140 games or more, then Beltran, McCann, Texeira, Jeter et al all ride the pine during their necessary days off. That means a lot of ABs for Ryan, Nunez, Cervelli, and Ichiro.

  7. paperlions - Feb 21, 2014 at 8:37 AM

    Man, when Teixeira said they were “back to being the Yankees”, he wasn’t kidding.

    • halladaysbiceps - Feb 21, 2014 at 8:40 AM

      Hahahaha! I would guess the Yankees will be very good this year, regardless of the Tex.

      • paperlions - Feb 21, 2014 at 8:47 AM

        I think the Yankees have to have everything go right to be decent. They are old and they have no depth. If any of their key players get hurt, they have no viable replacements available. Right now, 3B, SS, and 2B look like black holes offensively, and if Tex isn’t healthy, the entire infield will likely be well below average at the plate. They really can’t afford any of McCann, Beltran, Ellsbury, or Gardner to have poor years or get hurt….and relying on so many really old guys, as well as guys that don’t have the best injury history or that are still recovering from injuries can be a recipe for disaster.

        With good luck, this team could win 90 games, with bad luck, they could easily lose 90.

      • halladaysbiceps - Feb 21, 2014 at 8:54 AM

        It’s great that all teams get to actually play the season and see what happens. Right, paperlions?

      • paperlions - Feb 21, 2014 at 8:57 AM

        Of course, but the fact that the games have to be played doesn’t mean it isn’t fun to speculate or provide reason-based expectations.

      • halladaysbiceps - Feb 21, 2014 at 9:04 AM

        Agreed.

      • happytwinsfan - Feb 21, 2014 at 4:44 PM

        don’t forget delusional expectations. they can be fun too.

  8. pisano - Feb 21, 2014 at 8:46 AM

    Hopefully Cashman has a back-up plan for first base, because I see Nick Johnson in Teixeira’s future.

    • toodrunktotastethischicken - Feb 21, 2014 at 11:02 AM

      If the Brewers possible tandem of Lyle Overbay, Mark Reynolds, and Juan Francisco doesn’t work out one of those guys might be available again.

  9. sdelmonte - Feb 21, 2014 at 8:46 AM

    Tex’s contract is looking ever more like a bad one. But what long contract with a guy over 32 doesn’t? At least they got a ring with him, which might be more than the Angels will ever be able to say with Pujols and Hamilton.

  10. cackalackyank - Feb 21, 2014 at 8:54 AM

    “Mr. Morales, Mr. Kendrys Morales? Phone call from Mr. Cashman for you”. If Tex can’t swing a bat that leaves Kelly Johnson, and he may well be needed two other places on the diamond.

    • 18thstreet - Feb 21, 2014 at 10:19 AM

      Dammit. That would make a lot of sense.

      Dammit.

  11. pisano - Feb 21, 2014 at 10:17 AM

    @cackalack…. I agree, I don’t Tex as someone they can count on for a full season anymore. Morales could light up the stands in right field.

    • cackalackyank - Feb 21, 2014 at 12:18 PM

      Precisely…even 2 years ago 162 was not in the cards for Tex. In fact he has only done that twice, in 2005 and 2006. He has been in the high 150’s a couple times since then but not getting any younger or healthier. A solid 1B back up was not an unforeseen need imho.

      • 18thstreet - Feb 21, 2014 at 12:42 PM

        The Yankees never have solid backups. It seems they don’t believe it in.

    • tysonpunchinguterus - Feb 21, 2014 at 3:01 PM

      So Eric Chavez wasn’t a decent backup for A-Rod in 2012 when he hit .281 with 16 HRs and started 50 games at 3B? Andruw Jones wasn’t a good backup in 2011 when he hit 13 HRs in 77 games with an OPS of .851? In 2010, they had Gardner as a 4th OF.

      Nunez is a decent backup infielder and that’s what he was supposed to be last year. Unfortunately, he was called on to start a lot more. Offensively, he’s slightly above average for a middle infielder. Defensively, he’s horrible and that’s why he’ll likely never be any team’s first choice to start anywhere. Cervelli is a good backup catcher and I think Romine will develop into a good backup. Their infield is thin this year at the moment, but they have enough OF depth with Ichiro and Soriano and 3 guys with a good shot at being their 5th starter.

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