By Dan Martin
Alex Rodriguez and Mark Teixeira
The surprising comebacks of Mark Teixeira and Alex Rodriguez helped carry the Yankees through the first half, and now manager Joe Girardi is hoping to figure out how to get both of them firing again.
Teixeira was out again with a bone bruise in his right leg and though he was able to take batting practice and jog a bit before Sunday’s 4-3 loss to the Indians, Girardi all but ruled him out for Monday’s game.
“My hope was he was going [to play] Monday, but I’m not sure about that now,” Girardi said. “I would question that now.”
Teixeira said he was still sore and Girardi said he needed to be able to run comfortably before he’s reinserted into the lineup.
And for a second straight game, Rodriguez didn’t start — although he entered as a pinch hitter in the seventh and struck out.
“I want to freshen him up as we go down the stretch,” Girardi said. “If you look at the last two weeks, it’s been a little bit of a struggle. There’s been some good days. Obviously, the grand slam was a huge hit for us.”
Brian McCann again started at DH in Rodriguez’s spot, but the decision didn’t provide an immediate payoff. McCann went 0-for-4 with three strikeouts.
And with Sunday’s pinch-hit strikeout, Rodriguez’s funk extended to 5-for-41.
“I see him go out of zone more,” Girardi said of what happens when Rodriguez slumps. “He comes out of his legs more as a hitter. He gets forward. Could that be fatigue? It could be. It could be just not seeing the ball well.”
Still, Girardi tried to be optimistic the time off for both Teixeira and Rodriguez would be beneficial.
“I’m trying to make sure all of our guys stay on the field,” Girardi said of his team that was ravaged by injuries each of the past two seasons. “We’ve had a lot of moving parts in the lineup the last few years. This year, we’ve been pretty consistent and tried to stay ahead of the curve and keep these guys on the field. We’ve been proactive.”
The real test will be the final month of the season.
“We’re going to need these guys a lot,” Girardi said. “Both of them.”
Both before and after the game, general manager Brian Cashman made it clear he intends to address any roster issues from within the organization.
With the Aug. 31 waiver deadline approaching, Cashman said he’s made some attempts to acquire players, but had no success.
“Nothing that’s gotten to me,” Cashman said. “I’ve done a lot of claims. I’ve never been awarded any of them.”
The Yankees issued 10 walks Sunday, their most in a game since May 11, 2011, in an 11-inning game and most in a nine-inning game since June 26, 2010, against the Angels, when they walked 10.