PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. - Early Wednesday morning, Mark Teixeira set what he thought was a simple, reachable goal for his simulated game about an hour later.
"I just hope to swing a little bit more, because that's the test,'' Teixeira said. "I want to swing and miss, I want to check swing, I want to do all those things. Chances are I won't be able to do it all in one day, but hopefully do as much of that as I can.''
Much to his confusion, Teixeira didn't do much, although the first baseman said he still plans to make his spring debut Thursdayagainst the Phillies in Clearwater. "I am sure I will be ready to play,'' Teixeira told reporters in Tampa after the session.
Teixeira faced righthander David Herndon and made contact on three swings out of the five pitches he saw. But after pitch No. 5, pitching coach Larry Rothschild ended Herndon's session, causing Teixeira to say in exasperation, according to observers: "That's it?''
Herndon was the only pitcher scheduled to throw a sim game Wednesday, Rothschild said after the Yankees' 5-4 loss to the Rays at Charlotte Sports Park, and Herndon's day was done after 21 pitches. Scott Sizemore saw 16 before Teixeira stepped in.
"We were scheduled for a sim game,'' Rothschild said. "[Herndon] threw one inning, 15 to 20 pitches, and he ended up over 20 pitches. That's what was scheduled.''
Herndon has been brought along slowly since undergoing Tommy John surgery in 2012 and sitting out last season.
In normal circumstances, Teixeira probably wouldn't have been puzzled, but he saw only a handful of good pitches to hit in live batting practice Monday and did not get an opportunity to take live BP Tuesday.
"I thought I was going to get a lot more work the last few days,'' said Teixeira, who later Wednesday morning took regular BP thrown by guest instructor Willie Randolph. "But I do what I am told.''
Joe Girardi didn't seem especially bothered. "The schedule, at 9:25, he was supposed to hit,'' he said. "I wasn't there, so I don't really know what happened.''
Several hours earlier, Teixeira said he was "excited as you can be for a spring training game.''
That's because it has been more than a year since he appeared in one. Teixeira had 14 at-bats in five games in 2013 before heading to Arizona to prepare for the World Baseball Classic. There, a year ago Wednesday, Teixeira tore the tendon sheath in his right wrist. The injury limited him to 15 games last season.
"I've been looking forward to it for a long time,'' he said. "My main thing is I want to get through a full game, I'd like to get three at-bats and not have one swing where I say I felt it. If that happens, it was a successful day no matter what the results.''
Girardi said he is looking forward to having him on the field.
"It's tough when these guys are used to playing every day and then you take their livelihood away from them for basically a year,'' he said. "It's tough on them. I'm looking forward to seeing him out there because we really missed him last year.''
Girardi said he saw no reason to place limitations on Teixeira, but said that until he passes a series of tests, the manager won't be completely without worry.
"I think it will take a little bit,'' Girardi said. "I think when you start getting him playing multiple days in a row a couple times and he tells you, 'I feel pretty good,' then I'll feel better.''