6/16/2013 4:01 P.M. ET
Girardi staying positive during offensive slump
By AJ Cassavell / MLB.com
ANAHEIM -- It's no secret that the Yankees' bats are in a funk. They haven't seen a number higher than three on the top half of the scoreline since Tuesday in Oakland.
But despite the club's struggles at the plate, manager Joe Girardi is taking a positive approach with his hitters.
"The biggest thing is you encourage them, because you know what they're capable of doing," Girardi said. "Every hitter has been in a slump. If you've played long enough, you've been in a slump. Your hope as a club is that you don't have three, four, five guys slumping at once, but sometimes you do. It becomes really tough to score runs."
No doubt, the ailing right wrist of first baseman Mark Teixeira is a bit of a setback, but Girardi was quick to point out that the current injury-riddled group is the same bunch that has hovered around first place in the American League East pretty much all season.
"This is the group that got us 12 games over [.500]," Girardi said. "There's a few changes, but it's basically the same group, and they're capable of doing it -- putting together a good run. That's what we need to do."
During the past three games leading up to Sunday, the Yankees hit just .138 with runners in scoring position. They've left a total of 25 men on base during that time.
Lyle Overbay is back as the starting first baseman, Girardi said, until Teixeira returns. He noted the importance of good at-bats even if the results aren't necessarily there.
"When you're not seeing the ball too well as a team, maybe you start trying to do too much, and that's when it's tough," Overbay said. "There are some times when just a walk can get you locked in."
Teixeira has inflammation in right wrist, no tear
ANAHEIM -- The news on Mark Teixeira's ailing right wrist was positive Sunday, but the Yankees are still uncertain if their slumping first baseman is headed for another stint on the disabled list.
An MRI in New York on Sunday morning revealed inflammation, but no tear, manager Joe Girardi said before Sunday's game against the Angels. A torn tendon in the same wrist kept Teixeira out of the Yanks' lineup until May 31 this season, and Girardi said the two injuries are likely related.
Despite the setback, Girardi made sure to point out that inflammation -- and nothing more -- was positive news.
"That's a good thing," Girardi said. "If he was to re-tear it, that would probably be it for the season. We're looking at some inflammation, and we're going to have to see how long it's going to take to get back."
Teixeira was removed from Saturday's game in the fourth inning because he aggravated the wrist, and he headed to New York, where he was evaluated by team physician Christopher Ahmad. In addition to the MRI, Teixeira also received a cortisone injection.
Girardi was noncommittal when asked about the possibility of a DL stint for Teixeira. He reiterated that the club needs to check in on how Teixeira feels Monday, but said he's not an option for Tuesday's game against the Dodgers in the Bronx.
"The inflammation should go away, but it's going to take some time," Girardi said. "He's not a player for at least a couple days. Then we'll evaluate."
In 53 at-bats spanning 15 games, Teixeira is hitting just .151. He has three home runs and 12 RBIs, but all three long balls and eight of those RBIs came in his first seven games back. Since then, he's hitting just .097.
The injury has affected the switch-hitting Teixeira almost exclusively from the left side of the plate. Girardi said until the wrist is healed, the left-handed-hitting Lyle Overbay will fill in at first base. But he added that he isn't too fond of the notion of a left-right platoon with Overbay hitting against righties and Teixeira hitting against left-handers.
"It's not what I really want to do," Girardi said. "I really haven't thought of doing that. We've just got to see how the wrist reacts with this rest."
Overbay to handle first base with Tex out of action
ANAHEIM -- Since he arrived in the Bronx, Lyle Overbay's role with the Yankees has been fluid.
He filled in for a couple of months when first baseman Mark Teixeira was on the disabled list. When Teixeira returned, Overbay shifted to a spot outfielder, backup first baseman and pinch-hitter. Now, with Teixeira's right wrist problems flaring up again, for at least the next couple of games, Overbay is penciled back in as the Yankees' everyday first baseman.
So how exactly does he deal with all the uncertainty and the changes? It's simple, he says. When you've been around the game long enough -- he's played 13 big league seasons with seven different teams -- you begin to understand that you have to perform, no matter the role, he says.
"I don't have anything else to prove," Overbay said. "I'm just here to win. Whatever that role is. When you're young, you've got stuff to prove. I'm beyond that, so I think that's why it maybe makes it easier for a veteran."
An MRI on Teixeira's wrist showed no torn tendons, and the club is still uncertain about a possible DL stint, but manager Joe Girardi ruled him out for the foreseeable future.
"My plan is to put Overbay at first base," Girardi said. "I know we're going to see some lefties against the Dodgers when we get home, but my plan is to put him at first base."
When the Yankees take on the Dodgers in the Bronx this week, rookie southpaw Hyun-Jin Ryu is set to take the ball for Los Angeles in the opener. The Dodgers have yet to officially announce their Wednesday starter, but it seems likely to be left-hander Chris Capuano.
Heading into Sunday's game, Overbay is hitting just .164 this season against left-handers, but he's batting .270 against righties. Seven of his eight homers have come against right-handers.
Still, he's had plenty of at-bats against left-handers this season (59, to be exact). That's a prospect he wasn't expecting when he inked a Minors deal with the club in late March.
"Some more injuries put me in there even more against lefties," Overbay said. "I think they had the vision of me playing against righties. And then a couple of the other things happened that I kind of got that opportunity [to play] every day."
Girardi thinking of his dad on Father's Day
ANAHEIM -- Playing on Father's Day has always taken on special meaning to Yankees manager Joe Girardi, who shared an extremely close bond with his father, Jerry.
Jerry passed away last October, but Joe continues to honor his memory, specifically on days like Sunday.
"Days like today, I think of my dad, and how important he was to my life and giving me the opportunity to do what I did," Girardi said. "I also think of my mom, too. It really hits home, and then you think of how special it is to be a dad yourself."
Obviously, Girardi would have loved to have spent Father's Day at home with his children, but he said he was moved by the personalized notes he received from them.
"This is a game -- it's generational," Girardi said. "Dads sit with sons, dads sit with daughters and grandparents sit with grandkids. It's pretty neat."