The Yankees got some devastating news this afternoon as they found out that Mark Teixeira will miss at least 8-10 weeks due to a strained ECU tendon in his wrist, according to Dan Barbarisi of the Wall Street Journal.
Teixeira hurt the wrist while taking BP in preparation for the WBC, although this is hardly a WBC injury. He will rest at least four weeks and then, if he’s ready to, will need another 4-6 weeks for rehab. That could mean a May 15 return without any setbacks.
This puts a lot of strain on the Yankees as they’ve already been without third baseman Alex Rodriguez for half the season and Curtis Granderson for at least the first month. On top of that they don’t really have a backup option for Teixeira as the Yankees $189 million budget meant that they couldn’t even make offers to their former backups Nick Swisher and Eric Chavez.
Bronx Baseball Daily will take a closer look at whom might replace Teixeira, but let’s just say that the list isn’t very inspiring. The only other first baseman they have in camp with a chance would be Dan Johnson, he of the career line of .237/.338/.412. Juan Rivera has some experience at first, but Brian Cashman has already ruled that out during an appearance on WFAN today.
They could also move Kevin Youkilis from first to third and look for a third baseman, but there aren’t a lot of promising options there.
Options at third could include Ronnier Mustelier and Corban Joseph, although both of their defense at the hot corner has been bad. Jayson Nix is also an option, but he can’t hit righties so he’s not the ultimate solution. Beyond that the Yankees could choose to move Eduardo Nunez over to third, but again, defense is a big issue. David Adams might even be an option, but he hasn’t been cleared to play with a back injury bothering him so far this spring.
Long story short, there aren’t many strong internal candidates. The problem with going out and trading for somebody is that there isn’t much available right now. With the expanded playoffs most teams aren’t looking to trade right now. Even if the Yankees found a team willing to deal with them there is the problem that Teixeira and A-Rod will eventually come back. Anybody that they acquire now will have to fit into the fold once those two return as well. So we probably shouldn’t be expecting a big deal to be on the way.
If I had to guess right now, this would be what I expect to be the Yankees Opening Day lineup: Derek Jeter, Ichiro Suzuki, Robinson Cano, Kevin Youkilis, Travis Hafner, Dan Johnson, Matt Diaz, Brett Gardner, and Chris Stewart. You can swap out Johnson with Nix or Stewart with Francisco Cervelli, but either way that is not a pretty lineup.
Unfortunately that won’t just be the Opening Day lineup, but the lineup for April and probably half of May. Hopefully they don’t bury themselves in such a big hole that they can’t climb out of it after that.