After leaving the New York Yankees’ game versus the Baltimore Orioles in the third inning last night, first baseman Mark Teixeira has been diagnosed with an articular cartilage tear in his right knee.
The Yankees announced on Saturday morning that due to the injury, Teixeira has been placed on the 15-day disabled list. Veteran first baseman Chris Parmelee was recalled from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre to take Teixeira’s roster spot. Dustin Ackley was transferred to the 60-day DL as part of the flurry of moves.
If you trust Wikipedia, Mark Teixeira having an articular cartilage tear seems like a pretty big deal. pic.twitter.com/taFE2LauRF
— Jared Diamond (@jareddiamond) June 4, 2016
Teixeira, 36, has struggled this season while dealing with neck issues since May. In 48 games, the switch-hitter has hit a mere.180/.271/.263 with three home runs and 12 runs batted in (RBIs). Last season, “Tex” enjoyed a strong bounceback campaign, batting.255/.357/.548 with 31 HR and 79 RBIs in 111 games.
Since 2012, the five-time Gold Glove award winner at first base has not appeared in more than in 123 games as he’s dealt with a myriad of injuries. During his first three seasons in pinstripes, Teixeira played in at least 156 games.
“I’m not gonna make any excuses,” Teixeira said to the New York Daily News after his neck locked up last month. “I mean, if you’re out there you’ve got to perform, so no matter what you’re dealing with — everyone’s dealing with something. No matter what you’re dealing with you’ve got to perform, and I’ve just got to do a better job.”
Before the season, Teixeira told reporters, including Ryan Hatch of NJ.com, that he feels he can play another five years.
“I’d love to play five more years. I’d love to play until I’m 40…My body feels so good, why not play until I’m 40? Being the kind of hitter I am, I can be a DH the last few years of my career, which could really prolong it. I would love to play that long.”
He added that he would love to remain in pinstripes for the remainder of his career.
Before Spring Training this year, Teixeira’s health became vital to the team as top prospect Greg Bird went down with shoulder surgery. He’s expected to miss the entire season but should be ready to go next spring. With Tex scuffling and the team’s lack of depth at first base, the team has been forced to get creative at the position.
Top prospect Rob Refsnyder made his first career appearance at first base after Teixeira exited last night’s game. Just days prior, Refsnyder told reporters that felt comfortable enough on the position to try it in a game.
Now, with Teixeira out indefinitely, the veteran Parmelee will likely get some chances at first base. In 43 games for the Yankees’ Triple-A affiliate, the 28-year-old has been a.252/.343/.444 hitter with seven HR and 21 RBIs.
Chris Parmelee homered twice and drove in 5 runs as the RailRiders defeated the Louisville Bats Thursday night, 9-1 pic.twitter.com/c003IKRmtZ
— SWB RailRiders (@swbrailriders) May 20, 2016
Parmelee has played in the majors every season since 2011; with his best season coming during a 101-game stint with the 2013 Minnesota Twins. He hit.228/.309/.354 with eight HR and 24 RBIs. Last year, with the Yankees’ division rival Orioles, Parmelee struggled as he hit just.216/.255/.433 with four HR and nine RBIs.
With another vacancy at first base, the Yankees elected to go with Parmelee instead of veteran switch-hitter Nick Swisher. A former member of the Yankees’ 2009 World Series team, Swisher has struggled after a strong start in Triple-A. Through 37 games, “Swish” has hit a meager.242/.258/.356 with four HR and 15 RBIs.
Scouts have said that Swisher’s two surgically repaired knees have slowed him down considerably. With his reported July 15th opt-out drawing closer, it’s fair to wonder if the Yankees will call him up.
[Featured Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images]