Yankees first baseman Mark Teixeira expects to play in his first game since hurting his right wrist in early March, suiting up for a minor-league game with Double-A Trenton on Wednesday.
Teixeira, who injured the wrist while preparing with the U.S. team for the World Baseball Classic, has been working out at the Yankees’ minor-league complex.
”If everything goes as planned, I’ll leave here Tuesday and play in Trenton Wednesday and Thursday,” Teixeira said Friday. ”That’s the plan right now.”
Teixeira, eligible to come off the 60-day disabled list on May 30, didn’t rule out rejoining the Yankees next weekend.
”I think anything is possible at this point as long he has no setbacks,” Yankees manager Joe Girardi said before Friday night’s game at Tampa Bay.
With Girardi watching, the All-Star took part in an extensive simulated game with infielder Kevin Youkilis, who is out with a sore back. Along with hitting and base running, the pair played defense between at-bats.
”That was a serious simulated game,” Teixeira said. ”That was challenging. It was good. It’s hot here. We got a lot of good work done.”
Youkilis looks to start a minor-league rehab assignment soon. Both Youkilis and Teixeira are scheduled to play in their first extended spring training game on Saturday.
The Yankees activated right-hander Ivan Nova, who had been on the 15-day disabled list with a right triceps injury, and moved him from the rotation to the bullpen.
”We want to get him back on track,” Girardi said. ”Power-arm, very good stuff, but he’s struggled.”
Nova went 1-1 with a 6.48 ERA in four starts this season. While saying he’s not a bullpen pitcher, Nova said he rather be a big league reliever than start at Triple-A.
”That’s the role they have for me,” Nova said.
Left-hander Andy Pettitte played catch for the second consecutive day. He plans to have a bullpen session Saturday for the first time since going on the 15-day disabled list last Friday because of a strained left trapezius muscle in his upper back.
”For me, tomorrow will be a big day and seeing if it tightens up again, which I hope it doesn’t,” Pettitte said. ”If the bullpen is good, then we can move forward. I feel good. I haven’t had any problems playing catch.
Pettitte (4-3), who will turn 41 next month, could pitch in a simulated or extended spring training game next week, and rejoin the rotation early next month.
Girardi said he has no doubts that Hiroki Kuroda, who left Wednesday night’s game against Baltimore with a bruised right calf, will make his next scheduled start.
Third baseman Alex Rodriguez, coming back from hip surgery in January, continues fielding grounders and hitting in an indoor cage as he wraps up his third week of on-field work.
”He’s progressing pretty well,” Girardi said.
A-Rod could return after the All-Star break.
Girardi said shortstop Derek Jeter is still rehabbing in New York. There is still no timetable for when Jeter, recovering from a broken left ankle in last year’s AL championship series, will make his season debut.
Reliever Joba Chamberlain, sidelined by a right oblique strain, said he is scheduled to throw two innings out of the bullpen Saturday in his second extended spring training game.
”Everything feels good,” Chamberlain said. ”Continue to build up strength.”
New York may not decide on the next step for Chamberlain until finding out how he feels on Sunday.
The Yankees are in Florida for a three-day weekend series against the Rays.
NOTES: C Chris Stewart (groin) was back in the starting lineup. … SS Eduardo Nunez (left oblique strain) could soon take part in a simulated game. … To make room on the roster for Nova, the Yankees optioned RHP Dellin Betances to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.