First baseman Mark Teixeira expects to travel with the Yankees when they head to Tampa Bay to take on the Rays next week. He also expects to get in a game when he is eligible to come off the disabled list April 20th. Teixeira has been out with a strained hamstring for over a week. He took batting practice in the cage before Saturday’s 7-4 Yankees win over the Red Sox in The Bronx. He also believes his 15-day DL stint will be beneficial for his surgically repaired right wrist. “This time off can only help the wrist, just from a long spring training,” Teixeira said. “Hopefully, when I come back, the wrist will be even better.”
On Friday, general manager Brian Cashman mentioned Teixeira’s wrist as a possible reason why his immediate return isn’t guaranteed. But Teixeira insisted taking batting practice isn’t doing his wrist any harm. “If that was the case, I wouldn’t have been playing in spring training,” Teixeira said. “My wrist isn’t at the point where I need time off [or] shut it down. It just needs to get stronger. Taking time off doesn’t make it stronger.”
The first baseman also said he would like this to be his last DL stint. “It’s not fun,” Teixeira said. “You push your body to the limits and sometimes it tells you to take time off. And I’ve had to take too much time off the last year and a half. Hopefully this is the last break that I need. This is a very minor injury. When it’s early and cold, the team doesn’t want to push it.” Teixeira said he thinks he’ll be able to play in two days of extended spring training in Tampa before being activated. Since going down, Kelly Johnson has done a solid offensive and defensive job at first for the Yankees, but there’s no question Teixeira’s presence in the lineup is missed. We’ll see if that presence is back come the 20th.