Yankees Notebook: Youkilis to undergo back surgery, Teixeira to DL
When the Yankees signed Kevin Youkilis in December in the wake of Alex Rodriguez’s hip injury, they liked how he hit left-handed pitchers and grinded out at-bats.
They also were aware of his recent back troubles.
General manager Brian Cashman said Tuesday Youkilis has a herniated disk in his back discovered after an MRI during a visit to Dr. Robert Watkins in southern California. The injury will require surgery on Thursday and will keep Youkilis out for 10 to 12 weeks.
“It’s not how you draw it up,” Cashman said. “There’s no doubt about that. Kevin is a helluva player when healthy. And he just hasn’t been in a position to show in season what he’s capable of doing because of the back.
“He looked great in the spring. We had high hopes. He obviously did so much for Boston over the years, and he’s the type of player that if you could draw it up that’s the type of player we would want — a gamer with power and plate discipline.”
Youkilis could return in September, but by then one of three things could happen — Rodriguez will have returned, a trade will be made or rookie David Adams will seize the opportunity.
For now, the job belongs to Adams since Rodriguez is progressing slowly. He was expected to face live pitching soon, but the team has not placed a timetable on a return.
As far trades go, the market is usually quiet after the draft, but often picks up after the All-Star break.
Adams will have about a month to improve on a .213 batting average mainly been caused by a 3-for-21 showing this month.
“We’re always looking to upgrade if we can, regardless of position,” Cashman said. “But you have to keep in mind too we expect to get Alex back. So as of right now, we’re going with what we have. And if we ever run into something that makes sense, then we’ll look at that. But we’ll keep going with what we got.”
Teixeira lands back on DL
When he hit three home runs against the Indians two weeks ago, Mark Teixeira sounded upbeat about the condition of his wrist.
“That first week I felt great,” Teixeira said. “You don’t look at stats too much in the beginning of the season, but I was like, ‘Man, I’ve been playing a week and I’ve got three home runs and 12 RBIs, I want to keep this pace up.’ [During the] middle of the Seattle series, I didn’t feel like I could finish my swing.
“Because of that I just tried to swing too hard. I was striking out way too much. Even swinging at good pitches [and] in Oakland and Seattle, I didn’t have carry; I flew out to the warning track twice, lazy flyballs, lazy popups. Because of that, I was like all right [hitting coach] Kevin [Long], maybe mechanically we can fix this. So we did some tee work, and not even at 100 percent it flared up on me.”
Two weeks later, following a 4-for-35 road trip, the good feelings have dissipated as the Yankees placed him on the disabled list with inflammation in his right wrist. The belief among the Yankees is that the injury will keep him out for two weeks.
“I think that when he started, he did [feel good],” manager Joe Girardi said. “I believe he was healthy when he came back. It could have just been the swings, the game got to him a little bit. But it’s inflammation, so inflammation didn’t cause it. It’s some sort of a weakness. As time goes on, the more inflamed you get, the harder it’s going to be, but when he came back he didn’t have that.”
Teixeira reinjured himself during the early innings of Saturday’s loss in Anaheim.
“On Saturday, I tried to take a few extra swings just to see if I could hit off a tee,” Teixeira said. “During the game, it just didn’t feel right. After the second at-bat, I told Kevin I can’t really swing right now. I was worthless to the team right there. I said we have to get it looked at. The MRI showed what I thought it was going to show.”
Teixeira’s first two weeks back from a torn sheath sustained during spring training produced mixed results. While he had two home runs and eight RBIs from the left side, he hit just .088 (3-for-35) compared with .278 (5-for-18) from the right side.
Until he starts a minor-league rehab assignment, Teixeira will stay with the team to work with Long. He said he adjusted mechanics to compensate for a wrist that was not 100 percent and the hope is he can solve those issues before returning.
Follow Yankees beat writer Larry Fleisher on Twitter @MetroNYSports.