Countdown to Spring Training: Day 35
It’s possible that there will be no spring training for Yankees first baseman Mark Teixeira.
It has been six months since Teixeira’s wrist surgery that ended his 2013 and he is still expected to miss the first few spring training games with the Yankees after the team reports to Tampa for exhibition games in just a few short weeks. According to MLB.com, Teixeira is still experiencing stiffness in his surgically repaired wrist while swinging off a tee and continued strengthening exercise.
Because this injury first happened during spring training last year when Teixeira was taking batting practice and is expected to carry over into 2014 spring training, is very concerning. Hoch reports that Teixeira will start hitting full-speed pitches next month and expects that he’ll be able to get into spring training games by the first week of March.When looking at the big picture, missing a week of spring training exhibition games is not that big of a deal. The real concern is how much this injury will impact him over the course of the entire 2014 season.
Teixeira and his doctor expect that his wrist will begin to loosen back up with more regular use, hopefully indicating that he will continue to improve as the season progresses. Still, it’s hard to say if he will feel 100% by the season opener.
The Yankees got a glimpse of life without Teixeira last year when Lyle Overbay got playing time at first base despite struggling for large portions of the season. With Overbay recently inking a deal with the Milwaukee Brewers, the backup first base job is still in question. The position is still up for grabs, but the player chosen will most likely not be someone who can boost the offense the way a healthy Teixeira can.
Wrist injuries are notoriously problematic and their effects can linger for quite some time. If Teixeira missing one week of spring training games is the only impact on the 2014 squad, that will have to be considered a blessing. However, if this is only the first sign of a long season of struggles as he tries to get his wrist back to where it was, it could be another long season for the offensive production out of Yankees first basemen.
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