- Associated Press - Saturday, June 25, 2016

NEW YORK (AP) - Now that Mark Teixeira is back in their lineup, the New York Yankees can only hope he remains healthy enough to stay there.

The switch-hitting first baseman was activated from the 15-day disabled list Saturday and batted sixth against the Minnesota Twins, his first major league game since June 3. Teixeira, who went 0 for 3 with a strikeout and a walk in New York’s 2-1 victory, had been sidelined with torn cartilage in his right knee.

“We don’t really know what to expect,” he said. “We’re going to do a couple more shots over the All-Star break and if we need another round at the end of the season we can, but really just trying to keep it from locking up.”

To open a spot on the roster, the Yankees designated first baseman Ike Davis for assignment. Davis was signed June 13 and went 3 for 14 (.214) with an RBI in seven games.

New York chose to keep Rob Refsnyder over Davis in part because Refsnyder can play other positions besides first base.

“We really like what Ref has done and he provides flexibility,” manager Joe Girardi said. “He can play right field and second base, and his at-bats have been really good. He’s played well, so we’re going to stick with him.”

The Yankees have started six players at first base this season and they’ve combined to hit .184 with five home runs and 22 RBIs. Refsnyder was hitting .286 with six doubles and eight RBIs in 56 at-bats.

“I’m going to try to find ways to get him at-bats,” Girardi said. “Tex is someone that, you know, I don’t see us running him out there four, five days in a row right at the beginning here. So we’ll have to watch Tex closely and use Ref.”

The 36-year-old Teixeira went 1 for 9 in three rehab games with Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.

“I feel pretty good. I accomplished everything I wanted to accomplish in Scranton. I played three games without any major incidents, so that’s good,” he said. “Didn’t get a lot of hits down there but swung the bat OK. Batting practices were good and the knee was responding well during BP and stuff like that, so I think the swing feels pretty good.”

Teixeira said he felt general soreness in his knee after the minor league games, but he can deal with that.

“Playing nine innings at first base, that’s important. Being on your feet for three hours and cutting back and forth at first base, fielding some grounders, running down the line a few times, that kind of showed that hopefully I can get through a full game,” he said.

Teixeira was struggling badly at the plate before he got hurt, batting .180 with three homers and 12 RBIs. He has not homered since April 13, and the drought of 144 at-bats is the longest of his career.

The three-time All-Star and five-time Gold Glove winner is in the final season of a $180 million, eight-year contract. He also missed several games in May because of a bulging disk in his neck.

“These last three weeks have really helped my neck calm down,” said Teixeira, who had 31 homers and 79 RBIs in 111 games last year before his season was cut short in August by a broken right shin.

“Hopefully it’s going to be a good thing for the rest of the season and I won’t have any more incidents, because that’s a tough thing to deal with. But hopefully all these injuries are behind me and I can have a productive second half of the season.”

Before the game, however, Girardi was asked how much he holds his breath regarding Teixeira.

“More than I would like,” the manager said. “Because at any point you worry that it could come back, so we’ll just have to watch him carefully.”

Davis said if he clears waivers and doesn’t land a big league job, he would be open to going down to the minors with the Yankees.

“It wouldn’t be a bad option,” he said.

___

AP Sports Writer Samantha Pell contributed to this report.

LOAD COMMENTS ()

 

Click to Read More

Click to Hide