Last week started to looks like a train wreck. During Thursday’s win against the Boston Red Sox, backup catcher Francisco Cervelli pulled his hamstring while trying to beat out a double play. It was not pretty, and after an MRI it was confirmed he had a grade 2 strain. Since then Cervelli has been placed on the 60-day disabled list. Usually this type of injury takes four to six weeks to heal properly, so the Yankees decided to air on the side of caution and shelve him for the long term. Scott Sizemore has filled his place on the roster and has done a great job so far. Later in the series both Derek Jeter and Brian Roberts were held out multiple games for precautionary reasons, and of course the Yankee fans started to panic. Thank god for the scheduled day off on Monday and rain on Tuesday, both players are now back in the lineup and fine.
The bigger concern has been and will continue to be Mark Teixeira. He has been on the 15-day with a right hamstring strain after playing in only four games this season. Prior to yesterday’s game manager Joe Girardi said Tex was progressing nicely. He has been in Tampa for the last week or so rehabbing, and yesterday he played in a few innings in an extended spring training game. From the reports it looks like he is on schedule to to be activated Sunday. He had some at-bats, ran the bases and did a little fielding yesterday. Girardi said he will continue to workout in Tampa, and will play again today and Saturday. Barring any setbacks he should be back with the team for the Sunday finale against the Rays.
Closer David Robertson is also on-track to be activated at the end of his 15-day DL stint. Robertson has been on the sidelines with a left groin strain since his April 7. Luckily the bullpen has done a phenomenal job, the closer by committee team of Shawn Kelley, Adam Warren, Matt Thornton and David Phelps has converted a team record 8 save opportunities since Robertson went down. Robertson, who threw a 25 pitch bullpen session yesterday will make an appearance in a rehab start on Saturday. He is being targeted to return on Tuesday, which just happens to be the start of a big series against the Red Sox at Fenway.
A quick note on utility infielder Brendan Ryan, who has yet to play since injuring his back early on in spring training. Ryan will finally start to see some action. He is scheduled to join Tex and Robertson in an extended spring training game on Saturday. The infield has held up well so far, but once Ryan is back things will be even better defensively.