Rehabbing first baseman Mark Teixeira recently spoke with MLB.com's Bryan Hoch about Christmas or some filler piece like that, but he also provided an update about his right wrist. Tex's 2013 season was ruined from almost the get-go by a "pop" in his wrist during Spring Training that ultimately led to the first dramatically-shortened season of his career. Rehab from the strain in his tendon sheath was unsuccessful, and after suffering more inflammation, he ended his season by having surgery on July 1st to fix the tendon sheath tear. Even though his game has declined since his near-MVP 2009 campaign, a healthy Tex in the lineup would have been a helluva improvement over the likes of the replacement-level Lyle Overbay.
Here's what Teixeira said to Hoch:
On his rehab from right wrist surgery:
"I’m close to 100 percent. I feel like I’m healed. I wish I was a little bit looser; my wrist is going to be tight for a while because of the way the surgery was performed. They had to kind of tighten everything up to make it secure. It’s still a little bit tight, but that’s why I’m doing rehab every day and doing exercises every day. I’ll start swinging a bat in January and that will also help loosen it up."
On if there are any doubts about being ready for Opening Day:
"I don’t have any doubts. I have to prove to myself that I’m 100 percent and I hope I’ll be 100 percent next month. You won’t really know until you go out and play that first game in Spring Training. When someone throws a 95 mph fastball in on your hands, if I can turn on that pitch and have no tightness or no pain, then I know I’m OK."
Those reports make me kind of nervous since it's been almost six months since the surgery. Four months after undergoing nearly identical surgery on his wrist in September 2012, Jose Bautista's answers to questions about his wrist seemed to be more optimistic. Teixeira could have simply could have been acting more forthright about the status of his wrist, but who knows?
Either way, the Yankees really need Teixeira to rebound to even 2012 form if they want to have a playoff team in 2014. As 2013 proved, scrap-heap additions like Overbay just can't nearly match Teixeira's production at the plate. The regular lineup from 2013 has upgraded in three spots from Chris Stewart, Vernon Wells, and Ichiro Suzuki to Brian McCann, Jacoby Ellsbury, and Carlos Beltran, but it has also downgraded from Robinson Cano to whoever the hell they're planning on starting at second base. Adding a healthy Tex instead of Overbay would be another huge addition. Unfortunately, all we can do is cross our fingers and hope that Teixeira's wrist behaves in 2014.
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