Three weeks after suffering torn articular cartilage in his right knee, Mark Teixeira will return to the Yankees’ lineup at first base Saturday afternoon against the Twins, manager Joe Girardi said Friday night. Teixeira completed a three-game rehab assignment at Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, where he hit a modest .111 (1-for-9).
“He physically felt well,” Girardi said. “His at-bats were pretty good. Our thought is that he’s going to be Mark.
“I know he got off to a slow start [this season], but I really don’t believe that is going to continue. It might take him a few days to get going. He hasn’t had a lot of at-bats in the last three weeks, but we expect him to be Mark.”
Teixeira is batting .180 with three home runs and 12 RBIs in 48 games. Girardi said a decision on who will be sent down to open roster space will be announced Saturday. Backup first baseman Ike Davis is viewed as a prime candidate.
Girardi still believes
The Yankees went into Friday night’s game needing a win to get back to .500, and Girardi admitted he’s “somewhat surprised” about the team’s record. “In the beginning, we struggled mightily offensively,” he said. “We seemed to have gotten better, and now at times, we’re struggling in different phases. I believe there’s a really good run in this club. But we’ve got to do it.”
Former Yankee Eduardo Nuñez, who was traded to the Twins in April 2014, has developed into an outstanding leadoff hitter. He came into the game with a .316 average, nine home runs and 26 RBIs. “He’s getting a chance to play every day, and I think he’s flourishing in that role,” Girardi said. “We don’t want to see him do anything this weekend, but besides that, we’re really happy for him.” . . . Treatment of CC Sabathia’s ankle injury minimized swelling, and he is expected to throw his regular bullpen session and make his next start as scheduled . . . As part of the 60th anniversary of Mickey Mantle’s Triple Crown season, the Yankees gave out Mantle bobbleheads Friday night. Sons David and Danny threw out the first pitch.