Mark Teixeira is a long way from returning to the field, but the first baseman did receive positive news Monday.
Teixeira, out with a torn tendon sheath in his right wrist, visited hand specialist Dr. Melvin Rosenwasser, who told him he can shed the cast he's been wearing, except for during workouts.
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"Just don't overdo it," Teixeira said he was told. "But he was very happy with the progress . . . It was the news that I wanted to hear."
Teixeira said he can begin strengthening exercises but is not ready to swing. That will be addressed in "about 10 days" when Teixeira is next scheduled to see the doctor.
"Very encouraged," said Teixeira, whose timetable of an early May return hasn't changed, though the feeling is that probably is optimistic given the delicate nature of wrist injuries. "I'm going to stay positive. There's no other way to be."
"I think the first month, it will be somewhat of a process of figuring out exactly how you're going to do it," Girardi said. "You can play spring training games, but playing in-season games is different. Something I've thought about the last three or four days. Right now, it's probably going to be a fairly even split; then we'll go from there."
Logan lone lefty
"We had some roster issues," Girardi said. "Clay did a tremendous job for us last year but we needed a roster spot."
Rapada, who missed the final three weeks of the spring with shoulder bursitis, had a 2.82 ERA in 70 appearances last season.
Before the game, the Yankees honored the victims of the Newtown, Conn., elementary school shooting with a moment of silence. Names of the victims scrolled over the scoreboard as members of the Newtown police and firefighters joined the honor guard on the field. Detective Jason Frank, who grew up in Shirley and has family on Long Island, was among the first responders who were on the field before the game. Frank, when asked what he would be thinking about during the moment on the field, said: "The children, the families, the victims. That's what I'll be thinking about. I'm sure I'll be crying. It's still till this day heart-wrenching."