When the news broke that Yankees first baseman Mark Teixeira hurt his wrist it was initially deemed a simple strained wrist. However, Teixeira returned to camp for the first time since the injury and told reporters that it was indeed a partially torn tendon sheath, according to Daniel Barbarisi of the Wall Street Journal.
This is a more significant injury that will probably mean that Teixeira doesn’t return until June at the earliest (not mid-May as initially hoped) and there is still a chance that he will need season ending surgery.
“If I try to play too early from this, we could miss the whole season, and we don’t want that,” Teixeira said. “I don’t know if it’s the beginning of May, the end of May, the beginning of June. I don’t know when it is, but we’ve got a whole bunch of season left, and the time that really matters is the playoffs.”
If the Yankees can even get to the playoffs.
The only thing to do now is wait and see how it heals. Teixeira must be extremely careful though because this injury can end up in one of three ways — like David Ortiz in 2008, with rest it could potentially heal, he’s back by June, and his bat is fine. Or like Jose Bautista he could rest only to find later on that he will need to be shutdown for the rest of the year. The danger is that he ends up like Mark DeRosa and tries to come back too soon, makes the injury worse, misses parts of two seasons and comes back without any power left in his bat.
This certainly moves Teixeira out of the Curtis Granderson category of ‘he’ll only miss a few weeks’ into the Alex Rodriguez ‘could be out for the season’ territory. The problem is that there are no cheaply available first basemen on the market and until the Yankees find out if he does or doesn’t need surgery it doesn’t make sense to deal a few prospects for a replacement.
So the Yankees might be forced to go with what they have which isn’t pretty. Dan Johnson, .184/.313/.373 in 84 games since 2009, and Juan Rivera, .252/.308/.389 over the past three years, are their only options there right now. Kevin Youkilis could move from third to first, but there the only options are Ronnier Mustelier, .319/.373/.491 in two minor league seasons, and Jayson Nix, .217/.280/.374 in the past three years.
None of those options are inspiring. Mustelier is the best bat there, but his defense is a true question mark. David Adams and Corban Joseph, a pair of second base prospects, might have an outside chance as a call up later on, but both have defensive question marks as well.
The answer is probably not one single name, but maybe a combination of two or three.
• David Adams (back) was one of the batters that faced Hughes in the sim game. He “should” play in a game this week.
• Here are the preliminary minor league assignments. These could change.