The Yankees announced that Kevin Youkilis will have back surgery on Thursday and is expected to miss 10-12 weeks while Mark Teixeira has been placed on the 15-day disabled list after he got a cortisone shot to deal with inflammation in his wrist.
In corresponding moves, the Yankees called up Zoilo Almonte and Adam Warren from the minors. Warren will replace Teixeira on the roster while Almonte will take the place of Chris Bootcheck, who was designated for assignment (Youkilis was already on the DL).
Missing 10-12 weeks puts Youkilis at a early-to-mid September return, but I get the feeling that this could be the end of him as a Yankee for good. It’s just that even with surgery to repair a herniated disk that injury is going to linger. We’re talking about something that caused him to miss nearly four months over the last three seasons. He hit .219/.305/.343 in 28 games with the Yankees this year. They paid him $12 million.
As for Teixeira, the Yankees are sticking with their story that they are just shutting him down for a week because of the cortisone shot. If Kevin Long was right and Teixeira was never healthy it seems like 15 days on the DL is not going to be nearly enough. Surgery is still a possibility, but since he didn’t re-tear the tendon sheath it could be that he just needs more time to rest. Teixeira hit just .151/.270/.340 in 15 games this season. He’s owed $67.5 million over three years after this season.
David Adams and Jayson Nix will continue to replace Youkilis at third while the Yankees wait for Alex Rodriguez to return from hip surgery. That’s still about a month away so we’ll have to deal with Adams’ .213/.234/.333 line for a while. Lyle Overbay will obviously replace Teixeira at first.
Almonte, 24, is not in Tuesday night’s lineup, but when he finally plays he’ll be making his MLB debut. In 68 games in Triple-A this season he hit .297/.369/.421. He’s a switch hitter who does much better against righties — .303/.377/.451 against them in 220 plate appearances so far this season. Expect him to platoon with Vernon Wells in left field.
Warren has enjoyed a fine rookie season and was only sent down last week because he pitched six innings in an extra-inning game and the Yankees needed the extra arm. He didn’t have to wait the typical 10 days to be recalled because he’s replacing an injured player. He has a 3.12 ERA, a 7.0 K/9 and 2.3 BB/9 in 34.2 innings this season. He’ll go back to his old role as long-man in the bullpen.
Bootcheck isn’t a big loss at all. The 34-year-old, who hadn’t pitched in the majors since 2009 prior to last weekend had a 3.32 ERA, a 7.2 K/9 and a 2.7 BB/9 in 62.1 innings as a starter in Triple-A this year. Not bad numbers, but those are against a much younger minor league competition and the Yankees bullpen has been a source of strength for them this season.
Photo credit: (June 11, 2013 – Source: Ezra Shaw/Getty Images North America).