Johnson, Rivera to get bulk of time at first
JUPITER, Fla. -- As the reality of doing without Mark Teixeira settles in, it appears the Yankees have at least a tentative plan in place for handling his absence.
Teixeira is expected to be out until approximately mid-May after suffering a right wrist strain on Tuesday. He joins Curtis Granderson and Alex Rodriguez on the list of Yankees regulars who will miss the start of the season.
Manager Joe Girardi said Thursday that the bulk of the first base work in Spring Training will go to Juan Rivera and Dan Johnson, each of whom has played first base in the Major Leagues. Rivera, a right-handed hitter, has 83 starts there. Johnson, a lefty, has 306. Girardi indicated that it was unlikely the Yankees would make any significant move to add a first baseman from outside the organization.
"These two guys have played in the big leagues," Girardi said. "It's something you look at. I know [GM Brian Cashman] talked about, you can't go out and do too much, and then what do you do after a month when [Teixeira] comes back? I think whatever you do, you have to be careful. For me, my job is to look from within, because that's what I know we have. So that's what I'll do."
Kevin Youkilis could be an option at first, though that would open a hole at third base. Still, Youkilis will likely see a little bit of time on the right side of the infield in the spring and in the regular season.
"If we feel it's easier to put a guy at third and move Youkilis to first, we'll do that," Girardi said. "If it's easier to put a guy at first and leave Youk at third, we'll do that. Could it be a combination of the two? Yeah, it could be a combination of the two. He could play both."