Mark Teixeira left Friday’s game with a strained right hamstring. He stretched for a foul ball, but came up holding his right leg. He didn’t look happy – a look we’ve seen before.
Trainer Steve Donahue and manager Joe Girardi came out to talk to the Yankees first baseman and less than a minute later, they walked into the clubhouse.
Teixeira played in just 15 games last season, missing the year with a wrist injury that required surgery. Teixeira strained his right hamstring in Game 4 of the 2010 American League Championship Series.
If Teixeira misses a significant amount of time, the Yankees are in trouble at first base.
And it begs the question, why?
New York spent the offseason stocking players from free agency and the minors for the infield: Kelly Johnson, Dean Anna, Brian Roberts and Yangeris Solarte. The Yankees replaced Teixeira with Johnson who moved from third to first, and then Solarte moved to third from second with Roberts coming off the bench to play second.
The Yankees don’t have a contingency plan if Teixeira is out for an extended amount of time, which is remarkable considering he missed most of last season Teixeira also fully admits his wrist will never feel as good as it once did.
Johnson can’t be the everyday answer at first. He played first base last season with the Tampa Bay Rays – three times. The only three times he’s manned the position in his nine-year Major League career.
In the minors, the Yankees don’t have much at first base either. The only first baseman on Baseball America’s organizational top-ten list is Greg Bird. He’s in Class-A Tampa.
The call would likely go to Russ Canzler in triple-A. The 27-year-old spent time with Cleveland last year, hitting .269 (25-for-93) in 26 games. In Spring Training with the Yankees this year, he had just three hits in 22 plate appearances.
Update, 11:35 p.m.: Yankees.com's Bryan Hoch tweeted Teixeira told reporters he is "not super optimistic" about his hamstring. If he needs an MRI, he will have on Monday in New York City.