A bad season for Mark Teixeira got even worse on Saturday when the erstwhile All-Star was forced to go on the 15-day DL with a right knee injury. Teixeira underwent an MRI that revealed an articular cartilage tear after leaving Friday night’s game in the third inning, and there’s currently no timetable for his return. Season-ending surgery is not out of the question.
“[The knee’s] been sore and swollen…but I’ve played with knee pain the last 10 years of my whole career,” Teixeira told ESPN on Saturday. “You don’t really think anything of it. You treat it and you ice it and you do the things that you always do. Nothing feels good right now. My body just hasn’t worked right this year.”
That statement is confirmed by Teixeira’s poor statistical performance; he’s batting .180 on the year with just three home runs.
So now that the Yankees will be without Teixeira for the foreseeable future, let’s take a look at the options the Bombers have within the organization to replace him.
Chris Parmelee, a 28-year-old journeyman who spent several years with Minnesota before splitting time with Baltimore and their Triple-A affiliate last year, was called up on Saturday, seemingly to take Teixeira’s spot. However, Joe Girardi did not start Parmelee either Saturday or Sunday. Parmelee saw the ball well in Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, hitting .252 in 172 PAs with seven homers and 21 RBI. He also compiled 21 walks compared to just 31 strikeouts. Parmelee’s plate discipline could help jumpstart a Yankees offense that’s currently mired at 26th overall in OBP (.301). Of course, he won’t come close to representing the power threat that Teixeira poses; Parmelee has a grand total of 28 home runs in parts of six seasons, while Teixeira knocked in 31 just last year.
Rob Refsnyder started both Saturday and Sunday’s game at first base after taking over the position on Friday night, a somewhat surprising call by Girardi. Refsynder went 1-for-10 while handling first base duties over the weekend. Refsnyder was being groomed in Spring Training to play third base but it didn’t go well, and he wound up beginning the season in Triple-A. Called up in late May, Refsnyder has hit well in limited appearances, batting .250 (four doubles and a single) with four RBIs in 20 ABs this year. He posted a .302 average in 43 ABs in 2015.
Chase Headley, the Yankees everyday third baseman, has played a handful of games at first in his tenure with New York. However, Girardi’s decision to stick with Refsnyder at first in the early going with Headley manning the hot corner all weekend is probably a good indicator that Headley won’t be shifting across the diamond much, if at all. If Headley were to start some games at first, that would likely open the door for Ronald Torreyes to get some more ABs.
A-Rod’s name will pop up here and there if Teixeira misses an extended period of time, especially if the Yankees don’t get production at first, but Rodriguez seems like a longshot option. “He just wasn’t comfortable doing it, so you have to deal with it in another way,” Girardi told Lohud.com, alluding to A-Rod’s 9.2 total innings he played at first base last season, which is the only major league experience he has at the position.