With all of the injuries piling up they have tended to overreact rather than be cautious and it has caused a number of setbacks. We’ve already seen it with Mark Teixeira, Kevin Youkilis, and Derek Jeter.
But I wrote about that yesterday. Today I want to talk about the financial impact of rushing Teixeira back from the DL too soon.
Teixeira got hurt during Spring Training this season while swinging a bat. But because he was actually with Team USA during the World Baseball Classic, the Yankees didn’t have to pay Teixeira’s salary while he was out. That hefty check was paid out by the WBC.
However, the checks stopped coming the moment the Yankees activated him from the DL and they won’t start again even if he goes on the DL with the very same injury. That WBC insurance paid $7.38 million of the $23 million big Teix is owed this season, but that’s it.
Now publicly, Brian Cashman is denying that the Yankees rushed him back. “I think we actually went longer to the point that the player was complaining publicly with it,” said Cashman. “We actually took a very slow and methodical process here.” Except he was still injured according to Long.
Unfortunately it appears that the Yankees allowed themselves to get suckered here because hitting coach Kevin Long has said that Teixeira’s injured wrist never looked fully healed and even went so far as to call him a a shell of himself. Cashman’s response, “if K-Long felt that way, he should have been saying that from day one, but we never heard that from K-Long.”
This miscommunication is going to cost the Yankees a lot because it appears that Teixeira is headed back to the DL. The Yankees are downplaying the severity of the setback, but that’s what they always do. Realistically it seems like a two week break at this point is best case scenario while a month or more, or even surgery, is not out of the realm of realistic possibilities.
I don’t fault Cashman for not having Teixeira get the surgery earlier in the offseason. There was a 70 percent chance that he wouldn’t need it and that’s certainly a large enough percentage to gamble on. The problem is clearly in the lack of communication with his coaches and the fact that Teixeira only had three games to rehab.
Typically Spring Training is six weeks. Teixeira missed nearly all of that. So rather than build him back up slowly, which would allow them to evaluate him better, they rushed him back. Lyle Overbay had been playing great, but was slowing down and turning back into a pumpkin. They panicked and activated Teixeira. If they had even given him one more week of rehab it probably would have allowed them to see that they need to be going even slower with the process.
Because of this the Yankees will be on the hook $15.62 million that Teixeira is still owed when they otherwise could have had the WBC paying it. It’s a ton of money and money that certainly could have been spent at the trade deadline. I hope those 15 games and .150 batting average were worth it.
By the way, it’s really only the left side that is really bothering Teixeira, but the Yankees have ruled out using him as a right handed hitter only. If it comes to it that he can’t hit again from the left side at all, they would rather just have him get surgery. With three years left on his contract after this season that’s probably the smart move.
• Nothing is official yet, but Cashman said on Monday that he was leaning toward DL’ing Teixeira even if this is not a major setback.
• It certainly sounds like the Yankees are not counting on much production from Kevin Youkilis for the rest of the season. Cashman explained that the Yankees signed Youkilis because his offseason physical was perfect and because the White Sox offered him a two-year deal.
• Michael Pineda will make his next start on Thursday with Single-A Tampa and is expected to throw 80 pitches. Pineda tossed 74 pitches and 5.2 innings in his last start during an extended Spring Training game.
• Alex Rodriguez has been running the bases at about 75 percent and he’s also taking batting practice and ground balls. The next step is living pitching Tuesday.
• Curtis Granderson will have a pin taken out of his hand on Thursday. It’ll be another week before he swings a bat after that though.
• Derek Jeter is hitting off a tee in the batting cage and taking grounders.
NEWS & NOTES
• Yankees attendance is way down this year, we already knew that, but the YES Network’s ratings are also down a huge 38 percent from last season. That’s significant because last season’s ratings were the worst since 2003.
• There have been a few minor league promotions recently, although I’ve only mentioned the big ones, but add Rafael De Paula to that list. The righty has been promoted to Single-A Tampa joining J.R. Murphy and Jose Ramirez as other big prospects to be promoted recently.
• Cashman is on the lookout for potential trades even if they are just for small improvements. “I’m always open for business whether they’re incremental upgrades or significant ones,” he said.
• Here is the list of draft picks who have officially signed: Eric Jagielo (1st), Michael O’Neill (3rd), Tyler Wade (4th), David Palladino (5th), John Murphy (6th), Brandon Thomas (8th), Tyler Webb (10th), Kendall Coleman (11th), Philip Walby (12th), Cale Coshow (13th), Caleb Smith (14th) Jordan Barnes (15th), Andrew Beresford (19th), Derek Toadvine (22nd), Alex Polanco (23rd), Sam Agnew-Wieland (24th), Dillon McNamara (27th), Trent Garrison (28th), Kevin Cornelius (31st), Chaunsey Sumner (32nd), Hector Crespo (34th), Ty Afenir (39th).