The Yankees have dealt with more than their fair share of injuries this season. On Tuesday, it was a recurrence of a couple ailments that sent two key hitters back to the disabled list.
Mark Teixeira had to exit Saturday’s game after aggravating his right wrist injury, and on Tuesday he landed on the DL. The first baseman was given a cortisone shot and the hope is that he’ll be able to return to the lineup soon.
Of course, surgery to repair the partially torn tendon sheath in Teixeira’s wrist has been a distinct possibility from the beginning, and, even in a best-case scenario, he’ll have to play through some pain. He batted only .151/.270/.340 over 15 games before returning to the DL, with hitting coach Kevin Long conceding that the first baseman was a “shell” of his former self.
“It’s something that I might have to manage all year,” Teixeira admitted to the Newark Star-Ledger.
While Teixeira is still hoping to avoid surgery, Kevin Youkilis will be forced to go under the knife on Thursday. The veteran infielder will have a procedure to repair a herniated disc in his back, which will sideline him for the next 10-12 weeks. It’s certainly possible that his season is over.
Youkilis missed a month of action earlier this season with back issues, and he never appeared to be himself after returning, hitting just .146/.239/.220 over 11 contests. When pain in his back eventually led to in numbness traveling to his right foot, the Yankees realized surgery could no longer be avoided.
The Yankees will use Lyle Overbay at first base until Teixeira returns. At third base, they’ll go with a combination of Jayson Nix and David Adams for the time being. However, another familiar face could be ready to handle the hot corner before too long.
Alex Rodriguez has run the bases, fielded grounders and hit in the batting cage at the team’s spring training complex, and on Tuesday he tracked pitches during live batting practice. The Yankees have been mum on a timetable for the 37-year-old as he makes his way back from hip surgery, but he’ll surely beat Youkilis back to the lineup. In a best-case-scenario, A-Rod could return shortly after the All-Star break.
Oswalt to Arrive Thursday
The Rockies have faded a bit since a red-hot start, but they’re still very much in the thick of the National League West race and are hoping a grizzled veteran will provide a boost to a struggling rotation.
Roy Oswalt signed on with the Rockies in early May, and he’ll finally join their rotation on Thursday in Washington, D.C. after making five successful starts in the minors. The 35-year-old posted a 2.16 ERA, 0.93 WHIP and 25/7 K/BB ratio across 33 1/3 innings for Double-A Tulsa while sitting in the low-90s and touching 95 mph on the radar gun.
"He's done everything in this game," manager Walt Weiss told the Denver Post. "He's been an ace before. He is used to this. But we don't want him to make more of this than it is."
Oswalt posted a 5.80 ERA and 1.53 WHIP over 59 innings for the Rangers last season and was demoted to the bullpen after an unsuccessful stint in the rotation. However, he also had a nifty 59/11 K/BB ratio and his velocity was fine. For fantasy owners looking for pitching depth, he’s worth a pick-up as a potential matchups play when he’s not at Coors Field. Jeff Francis is likely to be booted from the rotation following Oswalt’s arrival.
In the first game of Tuesday’s doubleheader against the Braves, Matt Harvey took a no-hitter into the seventh inning and wound up recording a career-high 13 strikeouts. As if that wasn’t enough, Mets fans got to see Zack Wheeler’s major league debut in the second game. Wheeler didn’t disappoint.
The 23-year-old struck out seven while tossing six scoreless innings in Atlanta to earn his first major league win. Wheeler had to wiggle out of a few jams, as he walked five and the Braves stranded runners in scoring position in four of six innings. His command was hit or miss.
Still, Wheeler’s stuff was undeniable, as his fastball reached 98 mph and he snapped off a few devastating curves. The young right-hander will need to improve his efficiency, and he won’t be able to count on the Mets giving him six runs of support each night (just ask Harvey). It’s clear he has the stuff to help out mixed leaguers right away, though.
National League Quick Hits: The Mets acquired Eric Young from the Rockies Tuesday ... Marco Estrada (hamstring) will begin a rehab assignment on Thursday before returning next week ... Carlos Zambrano struck out six over seven scoreless inning for Triple-A Lehigh Valley Tuesday and could join the Phillies’ rotation this weekend ... Brandon Crawford exited Tuesday’s game with two sprained fingers ... Kevin Gregg is now a perfect 10-for-10 in save chances this season after converting one against the Cardinals Tuesday ... Jorge De La Rosa is dealing with a bruised left thumb but should be ready for his start on Sunday ... The Padres signed Ben Francisco to a minor league contract ... J.J. Putz (elbow) will begin a rehab assignment with Triple-A Reno on Thursday and should be activated early next week ... Rafael Betancourt (groin) threw a 35-pitch bullpen session on Tuesday and is nearing a rehab assignment ... Matt Kemp (hamstring) is currently running at 75 percent without pain but has yet to run the bases ... Carlos Ruiz was activated from the DL Tuesday, three days earlier than expected ... Evan Gattis landed on the DL with a strained oblique ... Paul Goldschmidt belted a walk-off homer for the D’Backs Tuesday ...
American League Quick Hits: Clay Buchholz (neck) was placed on the DL Tuesday, but the Red Sox are hopeful he’ll be ready to return in a week ... Brandon Morrow (forearm) suffered a setback in his rehab outing and is out indefinitely ... Jarrod Parker allowed two runs over seven innings against the Rangers Tuesday, putting his ERA over his last seven starts at 2.19 ... Jordan Lyles held the Brewers to one run over seven frames Tuesday and boasts a 1.61 ERA over his last seven outings ... Matt Dominguez hit a grand slam Tuesday and now has 10 homers and 40 RBI this season ... Andrew Bailey blew his third save Tuesday but remains the Red Sox’ closer ... Felix Doubront spun eight scoreless innings against the Rays Tuesday ... Chris Perez (shoulder) allowed three homers and five runs in his latest rehab appearance ... The Yankees acquired Fernando Martinez from the Astros ... David Ross landed on the DL with more concussion issues ... Joakim Soria (elbow, pectoral) will begin a rehab assignment on Thursday ... Lonnie Chisenhall was recalled Tuesday and should get a shot to play pretty regularly at third ... Justin Smoak homered in his return from the DL Tuesday ... Justin Maxwell was activated from the DL and will be the regular right fielder for the Astros ...