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Mark Teixeira Injury: Press conference notes

Jason Szenes

Following the news that he will need season ending surgery to repair the tendon sheath in his wrist, Mark Teixeira spoke with the media about the injury:

The Yankees definitely needed him when the team has hit .236/.308/.341 against left-handed pitching and their best right-handed option is Jayson Nix and Chris Stewart. Lyle Overbay will be the starting first baseman, but he has hit .239/.282/.429 on the season. He might have a 106 wRC+ against righties, but against lefties he has only managed a 46 wRC+. The team will at least need a right-handed option at first base.

I don't think he is blaming the organization for his rehab schedule or the way they handled him, but he is thinking there needs to be a better understanding of how the body reacts to swinging a bat. The problem is that sports injuries in general involve a lot of guesswork without surgery. We know how to fix an injury, whether someone needs surgery or not, but it's hard to understand proper alternative treatments. Wrist injuries need surgery, elbow injuries need surgery, there's no way around it, at least not yet.

Perhaps the Yankees should have been more conservative with his rehab, but at the time he seemed healthy. He never complained about any pain, so it's obvious that he must have re-injured it after returning.

Jose Bautista underwent surgery for a similar injury on September 4 and was ready by Opening Day, so Teixeira should be fine for the 2014 season. The problem is that wrist injuries are reoccurring and he's had some trouble with the other wrist before as well.

Leaving him on the DL would have allowed New York to save all $22.5 million, since the World Baseball Classic would have paid for it. Now the Yankees are on the hook for the remaining $15.5 million for 2013, and if they have 80% of the total cost covered, that means that insurance will cover $18 million and the team will then have to pay around $4.5 million out of their own pocket. If the Yankees have an extra $18 million lying around to go toward the 2013 team, that could bring in another first baseman or more.

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