TORONTO -- The Yankees expect to be without Jayson Nix for at least the next 10-14 days after the utility man was diagnosed with a Grade 1 strain of his left hip flexor.
On Saturday in New York, Nix underwent an MRI exam that revealed the strain, which he suffered in Thursday's 6-0 loss to the Blue Jays at Rogers Centre.
"It does affect us because he's a guy that's played second, third, short for us," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. "We'll have to see how he is when we get back, and maybe he could progress a little bit quicker than that. We'll just have to see."
With Nix out of action, Eduardo Nunez may have just locked up a postseason roster spot. Nunez becomes the Yankees' primary backup at second base and shortstop, while Eric Chavez is the backup at the corner-infield positions.
Though Nunez was with the club as a utility man earlier in the season and played some outfield, the Yankees abandoned that experiment in May and wanted Nunez to focus on playing shortstop in the Minor Leagues.
Girardi acknowledged that Nix's injury should really affect only the last four games of the regular season, since Nix wasn't expected to start in the postseason.
But the manager said that Nix, who has batted .243 with four homers and 18 RBIs in 74 games this season, still could have played a role for the Yankees.
"If someone was to go down or you wanted to pinch-run for someone, [he's] a guy that could really play all over the place," Girardi said.
Teixeira to make return for opener vs. Sox
TORONTO -- Mark Teixeira will return to the Yankees' lineup on Monday against the Red Sox, as manager Joe Girardi has the slugger batting fifth and playing first base.
Teixeira was working out in Tampa, Fla., on Sunday after playing in an instructional league game over the weekend. He had no issues with the strained left calf that had sidelined him for more than three weeks, paving the way for his return.
"We expect to see him in New York on Monday," Girardi said Sunday. "He'll see the doctor tomorrow and see if he's cleared to play."
Having Teixeira back in the lineup will have an immediate impact of restoring balance to the order, Girardi said.
"It's the first time we'll have our whole lineup for a long time, which is really good," Girardi said. "It will make our lineup different. You think about [fewer] lefties being stacked together, too.
"It gives you the ability not to stack left-handers, which is something that we've had to fight, and at times we've been vulnerable to that. It seemed like everyone was throwing left-handers against us, and Tex is a huge bat against left-handers. It's affected us."
Teixeira suffered the calf strain in late August and aggravated the injury playing in a Sept. 8 game against the Orioles in Baltimore.
Girardi played Teixeira at first base in that game, as Teixeira thought he would be able to keep the calf loose by being in the field rather than serving as the designated hitter.
Though the plan didn't work, as Teixeira was injured trying to beat out a game-ending double-play ball, Girardi said that he would have no problem playing Teixeira in the field again.
"My thinking is first base, but I'll talk to him and see what he thinks," Girardi said.
Yankees pencil Nova in for Tuesday's start
TORONTO -- Ivan Nova continues to be tentatively listed as the Yankees' starting pitcher for Tuesday's game against the Red Sox, manager Joe Girardi said.
"We'll just go day by day where we're at," Girardi said. "As of right now, we've made no changes."
Nova has struggled in three outings since returning from the disabled list, going 1-1 with a 6.23 ERA. Girardi seemed lukewarm about starting Nova again on turn after his last outing, on Thursday, when the Blue Jays rapped the right-hander for four runs and six hits in 4 2/3 innings en route to a 6-0 victory.
It is possible that Girardi would take the Yankees' place in the standings into account before making a final decision.
"One way or another, it's going to mean something [on Tuesday]," Girardi said. "I'm going to worry about today. Let me worry about today."
Andy Pettitte said that he bounced back fine from his start on Saturday. Pettitte is not scheduled to have another regular-season start, but he would be lined up to pitch a potential Game 163 against the Orioles in Baltimore on Oct. 4 if the American League East isn't decided by then.
The Yankees have a losing record this season in one-run games, at 21-25 entering play on Sunday, and it's not something Girardi is particularly pleased with.
"That's not something you want to have," Girardi said. "But you could look at it the other way; we're in most games and we've got a chance in most games. I think that's what you want to have."
The Orioles, by comparison, have posted a 28-9 record in one-run games, which Girardi called "really impressive."
On this date in 1973, the Yankees played their final game at the original Yankee Stadium before it was remodeled, losing, 8-5, to the Tigers. Detroit's John Hiller got Yankees first baseman Mike Hegan to fly out to center field for the game's final out.