The New York Yankees organization received some unfortunate news on Friday when an MRI revealed Yankees star first baseman Mark Teixeira has a fractured leg and will miss the remainder of the season.
The Yankees struggled against the red-hot Toronto Blue Jays this weekend and fell to second place in the AL East standings.
Teixeira initially sustained his injury about four weeks ago against the Minnesota Twins when he hit a foul ball off of his leg just above the knee. The Yankees first baseman felt immediate pain after and attempted to battle through the agony for several minutes, but Yankees manager Joe Girardi was very concerned with Teixeira, who was walking very gingerly, and took him out of the game. Girardi then replaced Teixeira with backup first baseman Greg Bird.
Teixeira, 35, had a .255 batting average, led the team in home runs with 31 along with runs batted in with 79 before his lingering injury, and was also terrific defensively at his position. It can be argued that Teixeira was the team’s MVP with the way he was playing and Girardi said Teixeira should be ready to go by spring training.
The Yankees will turn to 22-year-old rookie Greg Bird to replace Teixeira at first base, who has definitely been a solid contribution with Teixeira out. Bird has a .241 batting average, five home runs and 17 RBIs over the course of 24 games.
However, Bird is nowhere close to Teixeira’s standards. The Yankees organization took a really tough blow losing their best hitter, who can bat from both sides of the plate, and their most consistent producer of runs weeks before the postseason.
The Yankees (77-64) are currently four and a half games out of first place behind the Blue Jays (82-60), who went into a four-game series at Yankee Stadium for the weekend and won. The outcomes of these games are going to make the top of the AL East standings quite interesting- it’s going to be a fight to the finish.
The Yankees still have one last series with the Blue Jays left on Sept 21-23 at the Rogers Centre in Toronto.