Results tagged ‘ World Baseball Classic ’

Kuroda to miss next start; Nix on DL

Ready for more injuries, Yankees fans? Like it or not, there are a couple more.

Hiroki Kuroda, the Yankees’ most reliable starting pitcher this season, will be skipped his next turn in the rotation because of a sore left hip flexor. Kuroda returned to New York to have an MRI examination that did not reveal any structural damage.

Although there is a possibility that the righthander could wind up on the 15-day disabled list if the condition does not improve, the only time he will miss at this point will be his next scheduled start, which was to be Friday night against the Orioles at Yankee Stadium. That assignment will go instead to Ivan Nova.

One player who did end up on the DL Wednesday was infielder Jayson Nix because of a right hamstring strain. Nix, who has been alternating between shortstop and third base because of the injuries to Derek Jeter, Alex Rodriguez, Kevin Youkilis and Eduardo Nunez, was unable to play Tuesday night. The Yankees were hopeful it would be a day-to-day situation but decided not to push it. That makes 14 players totaling 17 stints on the DL for the Yankees this year.

Nix, who is batting .236 with eight doubles, one triple, two home runs and 20 RBI in 73 games and 237 at-bats, was supposed to be a utility infielder for the Yankees this year but was pressed into starting 65 of their first 82 games.

Taking Nix’s place on the 25-man roster was infielder Luis Cruz, whom the Yankees signed as a free agent. Cruz, 29, appeared in 45 games this year with the Dodgers before being designated for assignment June 28. He batted .127 with two doubles, one home run and six RBI in 118 at-bats. Cruz made 30 starts (20 at third base and 10 at shortstop) and committed just three errors in 136 total chances in all games.

A native of Mexico, Cruz, who bats and throws right-handed, is a career .240 (133-for-555) hitter with 26 doubles, one triple, seven home runs and 52 RBI in 179 games and 555 at-bats over parts of five seasons with the Pirates, (2008-09), Brewers (2010) and Dodgers (2012-13). Last year, he set career highs in batting average (.297), runs (26), at-bats (283), hits (84), doubles (20), home runs (six), RBI (40), on-base percentage (.322) and slugging (.431).

Cruz has appeared at five different positions in the majors – 81 games (68 starts) at shortstop, 79 (68) at third base, nine (eight) at second base and one game apiece as a defensive replacement in left field and at first base. He has made only 10 errors in 600 chances in 1,318 2/3 career innings in the field. Cruz was voted Most Valuable Player of the Mexican Winter League in 2011 when he hit .340 with 17 home runs and 47 RBI in 62 games with Tomateros de Culiacan. He was also on Team Mexico in the World Baseball Classic in 2013 and 2006.

Originally signed by the Red Sox as a non-drafted free agent Aug. 23, 2000, Cruz was acquired by the Padres Dec. 16, 2002 in a trade for infielder Cesar Crespo. Cruz played five seasons in San Diego’s minor-league system from 2003-07.

The Twins also added a player to their DL. Josh Willingham, who did not play Monday or Tuesday night, had arthroscopic surgery on his left knee Wednesday to repair a medial meniscus tear and bone bruise in his left knee.

Pitcher Chris Bootcheck and outfielder Thomas Neal of the Yankees’ Triple A Scranton affiliate were named to the International League’s All-Star team earlier Wednesday. Scranton manager Dave Miley will pilot the IL squad for the record-tying third time when they play the Pacific Coast League All-Stars July 17 at Reno, Nev.

Tex needs surgery, out for remainder of 2013

The worst case scenario that had been feared back in the spring when Mark Teixeira sustained a torn tendon sheath of his right wrist while preparing for the World Baseball Classic came to pass Wednesday with the news that the Yankees first baseman will require surgery and be sidelined for the remainder of the 2013 season.

After a recent MRI with dye contrast was performed on Teixeira’s right wrist, Yankees team physician Dr. Christopher Ahmad, along with Dr. Melvin Rosenwasser and two other New York-based hand specialists (Dr. Michelle Carlson from the Hospital for Special Surgery and Dr. Keith Raskin from New York University), confirmed that the sheath has not adequately healed and recommended surgery to repair the tear on the tendon sheath of his wrist.

“It’s very tough, especially in a season where the team could probably use me,” Teixeira said. “We’ve had some really, really good teams the last few years, and this year, we have a great team, and I would love to be a part of this team. I really would’ve loved to be part of hopefully what’s a playoff run, but when you realize that it’s not going to happen, it’s really difficult.”

Teixeira said he was told what he has is not a degenerative condition. After the surgery, which he said he would have sometime next week, Teixeira will require four to five months of rest and rehabilitation and “I should be 100 percent in six months,” he added.

The news is just the latest blow in an injury-plagued season in which the Yankees have had 13 players do 16 stints on the disabled list, many of them regulars, including Alex Rodriguez, Derek Jeter, Curtis Granderson, Kevin Youkilis, Eduardo Nunez and Francisco Cervelli. Teixeira was able to play in only 15 games this season and batted .151 with three home runs and 12 RBI in 53 at-bats. He aggravated his condition on the West Coast trip but he could not pinpoint when. One week after receiving a cortisone injection, Teixeira reported no progress.

“I have had about a dozen cortisone shots in my career and always responded well,” he said. “Hindsight is 20/20, obviously, but we had a great plan. We had a plan that the team suggested that we rehab it. I agreed, I wanted to rehab it, didn’t want to have the surgery. My first week back with the team was far better than I ever expected, three home runs and driving the ball, but at some point on the West Coast, I re-injured it. I don’t know exactly when it happened, but I have no regrets because up until the point when I re-injured it everything was going pretty well.”

Lyle Overbay, who has done a good job at first base in Teixeira’s absence, will continue in the position. General manager Brian Cashman said he was satisfied with Overbay’s performance but would continue to seek ways to make up for the loss of Teixeira.

“My job has always been to find ways to improve the team, regardless of position,” Cashman said.

If there is any consolation for Teixeira, it is the knowledge that Blue Jays outfielder Jose Bautista had the same injury in 2012 and came back this year to hit 16 home runs and drive in 43 runs in 271 at-bats.

“I have been very blessed my entire career to be relatively healthy,” Teixeira said. “I averaged 150 games the first 10 years of my career and I’ll play 15 this year, so that’s completely out of the norm for me and it’s very tough. I’ve worked so hard my entire career to try not to be injured and to be healthy, and up until this year I’ve had a lot of success. But this is one of those years. You learn from it. Hopefully, the surgery is a complete success and 2014 is going to be a great year.”

Cano’s MVP play in WBC could be catalyst for Yanks

Robinson Cano certainly made a big comeback in the 2013 World Baseball Classic from his disappointing 2012 postseason for the Yankees. The All-Star second baseman earned Most Valuable Player honors for his pivotal role in the Dominican Republic’s capturing the event.

“Well, this is something that you never are going to get done by yourself, so I want to thank the guys, my teammates, the manager, also the Dominican team for giving me that opportunity to be here with all these guys, all this great talent,” Cano said. “Without my teammates, I would have never won an MVP, so I would say it’s not only me, it’s about the whole team.”

Such an attitude is what the Yankees have always seen in Cano, a team-first guy. It was also a major accomplishment for another member of the Yankees family, bench coach Tony Pena, who served as the manager of his home country’s entry in the WBC, an event that has yet to connect as strongly with fans in the United States as fervently as with those in places beyond our borders.

“Now, Robinson Cano is starting to see himself like a leader,” Pena said. “He’s starting to see himself like giving direction to all the players and talking to the young players.”

Watching the DR beat Puerto Rico for the WBC title was akin to a World Cup soccer match, and throughout the tournament Cano was something to watch. He led all tournament players in hits with a record total of 15 while batting .469 with 4 doubles, 2 home runs, 6 RBI and 6 runs in 32 at-bats. Robinson became the first position player to be named MVP. Japanese pitcher Daisuke Matsuzaka was the MVP of the first two WBC events.

Cano’s performance soothed some of the bitter taste he felt after last year’s two playoff rounds in which he was a combined 3-for-40 (.075) with 2 doubles and 4 RBI. He went into a slump at the absolutely wrong time of the year. It is hoped his WBC play will be a catalyst for Cano to get the Yankees off to a hot start to the 2013 season that is right around the corner.

Spring training schedule announced

The Yankees announced their 2013 spring training schedule that features 33 games, 17 of them at George M. Steinbrenner Field in Tampa, Fla.

The Yankees will play their first spring game at 1:05 p.m. Feb. 23 against the Braves at Champion Stadium in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. The Yanks’ first spring home game will be at 1:05 p.m. Feb. 24 against the Blue Jays.

Due to the World Baseball Classic tournament, the 2013 spring schedule will begin nine days earlier than last year. It marks the earliest start to the Yankees’ spring training game schedule in at least 65 years. In addition to 16 Grapefruit League games, the Yankees will also be home against the Dominican Republic’s WBC team Wednesday, March 6.

Home opponents include each of the Yankees’ four American League East rivals – the Blue Jays Feb. 24, the Red Sox at 1:05 p.m. March 20, the Rays at 1:05 p.m. March 24 and the Orioles at 1:05 p.m. March 27. The schedule also contains four home night games with 7:05 starting times against the Braves March 5, the Phillies March 13, the Twins March 21 and the Astros March 26. Houston is moving to the AL next year after 51 seasons in the National League.

The Yankees will also be home against the Cardinals March 11, which will mark St. Louis’ first visit to Tampa since 2006. The Miami Marlins will make their first trip to Tampa since 2005 with a 1:05 p.m. game March 15.

Season tickets for 2013 Yankees spring home games are on sale at or Individual-game spring tickets will go on sale at 10 a.m. Friday, Jan. 11, at the Steinbrenner Field box office, online at or by calling Ticketmaster at (800) 745-3000.

For ticket information, fans may call (813) 879-2244 or visit

Pitchers and catchers are scheduled to report Feb. 12, with their first workout scheduled for Feb. 13. Position players are scheduled to report Feb. 17, with the club’s first full-squad workout scheduled for Feb.18.

This will be the Yankees’ 18th spring training at Steinbrenner Field. The complex was renamed for the Yankees’ longtime principal owner March 27, 2008, following two unanimous resolutions supporting the change issued by the Hillsborough County Commission and the Tampa City Council. The resolutions cited Steinbrenner’s many charitable donations to youth activities, hospitals and the arts, and recognized his numerous extraordinary contributions to the area.