There have been many recent developments in the world of baseball some are more seemingly important than others. However a small incident such as how an innocent looking foul ball off the shin can look rather ordinary, leaving little to be concerned about. Of course, it always has the potential to turn into something more serious when it happens to a player who has bad luck with injuries throughout his career. That is exactly what has transpired with New York Yankees First Baseman Mark Teixeira.
In a game played against the Minnesota Twins on August 17, Teixeira fouled a pitch off his shin, forcing him to exit the game in the sixth inning. At the time, much of team’s attention was focused on the welfare of rookie pitcher Bryan Mitchell who just a couple of innings earlier had been hit in the face with a line drive off the bat of Eduardo Nunez. While Mitchell was helped off the field with a bloody towel held to his face, Teixeira hobbled off the field under his own power with a contusion on his shin.
In what has to be one of the great ironies of all-time in sports, Mitchell was diagnosed with a small nose fracture and was placed on the 7-concussion disabled list for precautionary reasons. Since that time, he has returned to the active roster. In Teixeira’s case, the outlook has been somewhat gloomier. After being diagnosed with a deep shin bruise, he spent the next 18 days until September 4 sitting on the bench before he was eventually place on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to August 27. To date, he still is unable to put much pressure on the leg despite his proclamation he will be ready to return before the end of the season.
While his enthusiasm is to be respected, the often injured Yankee veteran has a history of being a slow healer as evidenced by the fact he has spent more than 200 games on the disabled list over the last 4 seasons. The real issue at hand is how is it going to affect the team’s chances of getting into the World Series?
Truth be told, the Yankees had rather modest expectations coming into the 2015 season. For the first time in years, the Yankees were mysteriously quiet in the off-season. They instead opted to rely on veteran players, which included the return of third-baseman Alex Rodriguez who was coming off a full year suspension for his involvement with performance enhancing drugs. What the team didn’t expect was for Rodriguez (.256/30/76 slash line) to return with guns a blazing and a return to form by Teixeira (.255/31/79 slash line).
Considering both men are in the running for “Comeback Player of the Year” in the American League, it makes sense that the Yankees are currently in second place in the AL East, only 1.5 games behind the Toronto Blue Jays. Even more importantly, they are ahead of the Texas Rangers for the first wild card spot by 4.5 games. There’s the rub.
The Yankees are trying to decide what to do should Teixeira not be able to return before the end of the season. Originally, they discussed the possibility of using Rodriguez at first after he has already spent a majority of the season as the team’s primary designated hitter. For the time being, those discussions have been put on hold. Fortunately, Greg Bird was called up from the minor leagues and has proven he is up to the task of playing first on a regular basis. In 24 games, he is batting .241 with 5 home runs and 17 RBIs while also playing solid defense.
For the Yankees, the situation is up in the air for now. They would certainly like to get Teixeira back by the time the playoffs roll around, but they are currently playing well enough to keep from panicking.
This article was written by sports author Tony Samboras. As an avid fan of sports both in America and abroad. Tony is always keen in following the developments that take place around his favorite sports. Tony’s work includes contributing his knowledge of mathematical sports betting for simplythebetsus.com