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Bomber Links: Hot Tex

Mood Music - Nothing Else Matters by Metallica

Alex Rodriguez pulled his calf muscle and had to leave the game on August 16th, and eventually headed for the disabled list (I talk about his recovery timetable after the jump). In the middle of a pennant race, losing your cleanup hitter, most feared presence in the lineup, perennial 30+ HR hitter, and only mythical creature for any amount of time could have been absolutely catastrophic. The Yankees were in dire need of someone to step up:

Mark Teixeira in 15 games since A-Rod's boo boo: .392/.466/.725 with 4 HR.

You know the best way to survive without your #4 hitter? An 1.191 OPS from your #3 hitter. With A-Rod on the shelf, we needed Tex to step up big and carry the middle of the lineup, and he has more than answered the challenge.

Also, as called for and then granted, Javier Vazquez will be making his Magnificent return to the rotation. When Ed Valentine says it's time to get Javy back in the rotation, well, that's what's gotta happen. However, keep an eye out for some slight tinkering that Javy has been working on with Dave Eiland. (full story) Eiland, after he had put A.J. Burnett down for his nap after a story and game of peek-a-boo, offered the following quote:

Eiland said adjusting Vazquez's leg kick was the biggest change, as the righty had been lifting his leg straight up instead of toward the middle of his body.

"It keeps his balance and his body behind the baseball," Eiland said. "We also moved him from the first-base side of the rubber to the middle of the rubber. It gives him better direction and a better angle on his pitches. He used it in both relief outings. He likes it and the results are there."

Hopefully they are onto something, and if Javy had any type of mechanical problem, the two of them have straightened it out. He has certainly looked much sharper in his few long relief appearances, and now we just have to hope that translates back to starting.

Injury updates and some random, unorganized, and possibly reckless linking after the jump:

- Per the New York Daily News, Andy Pettitte threw a successful 55 pitch bullpen session at a very high intensity level. Quoth Andy:

"It was another good day," Pettitte said. "I threw 30 pitches like my warm-up, then I sat down for five or six minutes. Then I threw a good, hard simulated inning. I felt good. I had no discomfort in there at all."

We really, really need him back (Duggan).

- According to the Four-Letter Network, A-Rod may not be back as quickly as we thought. A-Rod hasn't had a setback, but they really want to make sure that they treat this injury with kid gloves. I agree that we want to be as careful as possible with Alex, and as long as Teixeira is carrying the load offensively and the Yankees are winning and staying in first place, it might be advisable to just let him rest up as long as possible.

- We're not getting Ted Lilly. Aw shucks.

- The Yankees spring training facility and High-A affiliate will remain in Tampa, not move to Orlando, as was previously speculated.