Dustin Ackley was the No. 2 overall pick by the Seattle Mariners in the 2009 draft. He was picked 23 spots ahead of Mike Trout.
Ackley was a hot prospect from the University of North Carolina. He received a $6 million signing bonus. But he never panned out in Seattle and became a Yankees utility player late last season.
We bring this all up because Ackley has a chance to be the Yankees’ starting first baseman for a while with Mark Teixeira down again with a sore neck.
Wednesday night, Ackley went 0-for-3 as the Yankees had their six-game winning streak snapped against the Blue Jays, 8-4, at Yankee Stadium.
Ackley, a top outfield prospect turned second baseman turned outfielder turned emergency first baseman, is hitting .154 in 52 at-bats. He may be getting more playing time soon because the Yankees have no real options if Teixeira is out for more than a few days.
“It concerns me,” Joe Girardi said of Teixeira’s reoccurring discomfort. “It definitely concerns me because we don’t want to be without him.”
Girardi said Teixeira had an MRI and will be getting cortisone shots to deal with the issue. It’s the same treatment he had when the neck problem first flared up. It didn’t take.
So as the Yankees plan to welcome Alex Rodriguez back to the lineup today after he homered at Double-A Trenton Wednesday night, Teixeira becomes the next injury concern. “It’s just something that reared its ugly head again,” Girardi said.
Teixeira hasn’t been hitting at all, with a .195 average and three home runs. It kind of makes sense if the neck thing has been bothering him more than he has let on. It’s hard enough to turn your head in everyday life when you have neck spasms; hitting a 95-mile per hour fastball that way can’t be a picnic.
When asked about options other than Ackley, Girardi mentioned Austin Romine, Brian McCann, Chase Headley and even pint-size Ronald Torreyes.
Romine pinch hit for Ackley against lefthander Chad Girodo in the ninth inning Wednesday night and homered.
Boy, do the Yankees miss Greg Bird, who is out for the season after shoulder surgery. And catching prospect Gary Sanchez, who could have seen some time behind the plate if the Yankees wanted to use Romine or McCann at first, is out with a broken thumb.
What are the external options if Teixeira has to go on the disabled list? The Yankees would be sifting through the same pile the Mets are going through with Lucas Duda out because of a stress fracture in his lower back.
Nick Swisher is bro-ing it up at Triple-A after the Yankees signed him to a minor-league contract in April. After a hot start, Swisher is batting .260 with four home runs and 13 RBIs.
Former Tampa Bay first baseman James Loney is hitting .340 for the Padres’ Triple-A team. And the Yankees sniffed around Ike Davis in the offseason before the former Met signed a minor-league deal with Texas. Davis is hitting .276 with four home runs in Triple-A.
Do the Yanks still like Ike? If nothing else, it would be a boon to Mets-hating Yankees fans if he flourished in the Bronx. But Davis’ career has cratered since he left Flushing.
Rob Refsnyder? Nah. He’s not a first baseman and the Yankees seem to enjoy having the fan favorite on the roster but never using him.
One thing is certain: It won’t be A-Rod. He proved last year he can’t play first at all.
“It’s something I believe we can get through,” Girardi said.
He may have to find out. What a pain in the neck.