Mark Teixeira's injury history continues to get worse. The first baseman has struggled over the years to stay healthy and 2015 is no different. The Yankees announced via ESPNNewYork.com that Teixeira will be out for the remainder of the season following a fracture in his leg that simply did not heal. While the loss of Teixeira is certainly a hit for the Yankees, the rise of Greg Bird means the team might no longer need the veteran on the pay roll.
According to Danny Knobler of ESPN, Teixeira had an MRI that revealed a leg fracture which is knocking his out for the season. Teixeira had been out since Aug. 17 after a ball was fouled off his leg. The initial diagnosis was a bone bruise, but now it appears things are much worse. Doctors believe the veteran will need at least three months to recover.
In his place, rookie Bird is stepping up as the full-time starter as general manager Brian Cashman makes it clear the Yankees are not looking to add someone to the roster.The Yankees have full faith in what Bird can do as they continue to fight for the postseason. Teixeira is in full support of this teammate.
"It's been great seeing Birdie step up," Teixeira said, via NJ.com. "No matter what the situation, you're going to have young players that you need to step up on a world championship team ... and we all have confidence in him."
According to Cashman, the Yankees would have sought out a trade if they had known about Teixeira's injury sooner. The general manager confirmed that the team would have at least explored options, but has no plans to do so anymore. However, will that stand come the offseason?
"I doubt that we would have secured anything that would have been doing as well as Greg Bird has been doing for us, regardless, so, I take comfort in that," Cashman said, via NJ.com. "But in reality we would have looked at some other things to see what we available and what the price tags were associated on it.
Teixeira has played in 372 games over the past four years. He simply is not reliable even when he is playing well. ESPN's Buster Olney via the Baseball Tonight Podcast believes that if Bird can really pull his weight to finish out the season, it could force a trade of Teixeira. The first baseman is signed through 2016. The chances the Yankees dump him this offseason are slim, but expect Bird to take over in 2017.
The same can be said for Rob Refsnyder. The Yankees are confident in Stephen Drew and Brendan Ryan at the moment, but Refsnyder is expected to take over as the full-time starter once he is given a chance. Cashman told the media that entering the playoffs, Drew would be the infielder the Yankees went with, but Refsnyder's time was certainly coming.