Tex takes at-bats for first time since injury in sim game
BALTIMORE -- The corner locker normally reserved for Mark Teixeira in the visiting clubhouse at Camden Yards was instead occupied by newly acquired infielder Reid Brignac on Monday, a reminder that Teixeira still has not played a single game for the Yankees this year.
There is hope that could be changing soon. Teixeira announced on Twitter on Monday that he had his first at-bats since March at the Yankees' complex in Tampa, Fla., a good sign as he attempts to return from a partially torn tendon sheath in his right wrist.
"Felt good to get my first AB's since March. 1-2 with a double and a walk, I'll take it," Teixeira wrote, adding, "#Yankees in first place, I'll take that too!"
The at-bats came in a simulated game, according to manager Joe Girardi, who said that the report from Tampa was "really good news."
Teixeira has said that he hopes to be playing in big league games before June 1, but Girardi likened Teixeira's progress level to late February batting-practice sessions before Spring Training games begin.
"It's definite progress for him," Girardi said. "We want to see him have a lot of at-bats and see how the wrist responds to that. Today was the first step, so I'm really curious to see how he feels tomorrow."
Felt good to get my first AB's since March. 1-2 with a double and a walk, I'll take it. #Yankees in first place, I'll take that too!- Mark Teixeira (@teixeiramark25) May 20, 2013
Girardi said that Teixeira will continue to hit in simulated games for a while longer because it allows him to bat both left-handed and right-handed.
At the New Era Pinstripe Bowl charity golf tournament on Monday in Rye, N.Y., Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said that he does not believe Teixeira is out of the woods yet.
"But I know he feels really good," Cashman said. "I know he feels strongly that this is going to be successful and that's great. That's worth something, but at the end of the day, I've been disappointed before. So think the worst and hope the best."
In that worst-case scenario department, Cashman said that Teixeira's injury might be comparable to the lingering one that limited outfielder Brett Gardner to just 16 games and 31 at-bats last season.
"Brett Gardner had a wrist issue. Probably not the same one, but it can't be too dissimilar either," Cashman said. "He went through two rehabs where he came out in this category no problem. Batting practice, all that different stuff.
"And then he got through game one, and after two games, became sore. And then game over. Until [Teixeira is] actually rehabbing and in games, we'll hold our breath for a while. When he goes through his Spring Training and if it goes fine, then I believe that we're OK. I'm not going to count my chickens yet."