10:22 am Sep. 11, 2012
Over the next two weeks, the New York Yankees will battle to hold their lead in the American League East without Mark Teixeira, whose M.R.I. on Monday revealed an aggravation to his calf strain.
The Yankees estimate he'll be out 10-14 days, which covers much of the remaining regular season schedule. With the Yankees up by just one game over the Baltimore Orioles, and two ahead of the Tampa Bay Rays, the timing isn't ideal, to be sure.
Manager Joe Girardi indicated Monday that he plans to move Nick Swisher back to first to cover for Teixeira, although that wasn't his only option, or necessarily his most obvious one. Swisher is a plus bat in right field; he's also got a surprisingly strong glove, rating above average by most metrics. Moving him to first base means finding a solution in right field, replacing Swisher with players like Chris Dickerson, who is not a starting-quality bat, or Andruw Jones, who has long ago lost his ability to play the outfield well.
By contrast, if he kept Swisher in right field, the Yankees would be able to employ a platoon of Eric Chavez and Steve Pearce at first base. Chavez, against righties, is extremely dangerous, posting an O.P.S. of .884 in 2012. Pearce, against lefties, is at .827 this year. Both totals are right in line with what the two players have done throughout their careers. And both are similar numbers to Teixeira's.
Elsewhere in New York sports:
A dropped pop-up by Kelly Shoppach prolonged an at-bat by Kurt Suzuki. Then Suzuki homered, one of three off of starter Collin McHugh, and the Nationals beat the Mets, 5-1.
Jenrry Mejia, who has been more successful as a starter than reliever at Triple-A this season, will enter the Mets' rotation Saturday in Milwaukee.
Jeff Wilpon told reporters Monday that he still didn't know what next year's payroll would be, nor had he discussed it yet with Sandy Alderson. David Wright acknowledged that there has been no movement on a possible contract extension.
The Knicks signed John Shurna, a free agent rookie version of Steve Novak.
Patrick Ewing was offered the chance to coach the Knicks' D-League team, but turned it down.
The United States faces a vital World cup qualifying match against Jamaica on Tuesday night in Columbus, after Jamaica beat the U.S. last Friday, 2-1.