The Yankees looked helpless against the Astros' Dallas Keuchel on Tuesday night in a 3-0 loss to the Astros in the American League wild-card game -- something they often seem to be against tough lefthanded pitchers.
No one was more frustrated watching the three-hit flop than the man who perhaps could have been best positioned to do something about it if healthy: Mark Teixeira, the injured, switch-hitting first baseman.
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"It's pretty miserable," he said of having to sit by and watch his teammates struggle to score. "There's nothing you can do. It's just really bad timing. If you're going to have a freak injury like that, you want it early in the season so you can be with your guys at the end. But that's life."
Teixeira was having a team MVP-caliber season when he fouled a ball off his left shin Aug. 17, an incident that eventually led to the diagnosis of a fracture Sept. 11, officially ending his season.
"On so many levels, I wish I could have been out there," he said when asked specifically if it hurt even more to watch another lefty flummox the Bombers without him. "We did hit a little bump in the road there at the end of the season. Guys fought through a lot of stuff during the year. Maybe we were out of gas, maybe we were too banged up. But we just kind of hit a wall at the end of the year and that's unfortunate."
Asked whether he expects to be fully healed in time for spring training, Teixeira said: "I'll be 100 percent in a month. Unfortunately, that's the bad timing of it. It's not a terrible injury; it's just a break where you have to let it heal.
"It's not one of those things you can play through. I obviously tried to do that and couldn't. You just have to let the thing heal and I'll be fine in a month or so. Unfortunately, it was the wrong time of the year."
Given the Yankees' relatively old age, Teixeira acknowledged that quality depth, such as that provided in his absence by rookie Greg Bird, is essential.
"Depth is very important, no doubt," he said. "Guys are going to get banged up. That's the nature of sports. You want to have guys come in who can do a great job. Whether it's a week or two months, you need guys who can come in and fill spots."
With Teixeira due back and still playing under a lucrative contract, it is unclear what role Bird will play in 2016.
"From Day One here, it's just been about doing my job, whatever that is," he said. "I'm going to take some time off and get ready for next year and whatever my job is next year, I'll worry about that then."