Mark Teixeira, who has a deep bone bruise as a result of fouling a ball off his shin on August 18, was placed on the 15-day DL today retroactive to August 27. Teixeira has missed 13 of the last 15 games that the Yankees have played.
He has been missed in the lineup as a result of his 31 homers, 79 RBIs and .548 slugging percentage. His slugging percentage and homers both lead the team and his 79 RBIs are second on the team to Brian McCann’s 82 runs driven in. The Yankees have scored six runs or more five times since Teixeira has been out of the lineup, but they have also scored four runs or less 10 times, which includes the two games he played where he combined to make only three at-bats.
Rookie Greg Bird has been a capable replacement while Teixeira has been sidelined, but he is not able to help the offense at this stage like Teixeira is able to. In Bird’s 18 games since being called up from Triple-A Scranton, he has a .254 average in 63 at-bats with three homers, 12 runs scored and 12 RBIs. Bird will continue to be the everyday first baseman until at least September 11, which is when Teixeira is eligible to come off of the disabled list.
The injury didn’t heal like the Yankees originally expected it would, which led Teixeira to go on crutches this week. He was not likely to return before next Friday anyway, and putting him on the DL allowed the Yankees to call up Nick Rumbelow today, who would have had to stay at Triple-A one more day because without someone being put on the disabled list he would have had to stay with Scranton for 10 days.
Rumbelow, who is a rookie from LSU and was drafted in the 7th round by the Yankees in 2013, has gone back and forth between the big leagues and Scranton the last two months, but has pitched well with the Yankees when put into the game. He has a 2.79 ERA in 10 games (9.2 innings) this season with nine strikeouts, one homer allowed and a solid 1.13 WHIP. The DL stint by Teixeira will also give the Yankees the option of playing him in a rehab game.
The positive sign is that his injury is still not worse than a deep bone bruise, but it is still possible that he will return after next Friday. Returning a week from today would be ideal because that is when the Yankees begin a three-game series against the first place Toronto Blue Jays, and the Yankees could use the player who has been their best run producer this season in that series.
Before the series against Toronto, the Yankees will play three games against the Tampa Bay Rays and then three games against the Baltimore Orioles, who have lost eight of their last 10 games.