The New York Yankees have placed first baseman Mark Teixeira on the 15-day disabled list with a bone bruise in his right shin, the team announced today:
Teixeira has not started since August 25 with the injury and hasn't appeared in a game since August 27. The start on the 25th was his only one since August 17 and he will be out at least another eight days.
The 35-year-old switch hitter is having his strongest season since at least 2011 after struggling with injuries and ineffectiveness each of the last three seasons, hitting .255/.357/.548 with 31 home runs in 111 games. He also made his first All-Star appearance since 2009.
With rosters expanded, there are certainly worse times for Teixeira to hit the disabled list, and rookie Greg Bird has done a fine job filling in for him, hitting .254/.333/.429 with three home runs in 18 games this season. The promotion to the big leagues came for Bird after he hit .277/.356/.469 with a dozen home runs in 83 games between Double-A Trenton and Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre this season.
The 22-year-old is likely the future at first base for the Yankees, and the experience he is getting in a playoff race could prove invaluable later in his career.
However, as valuable as the experience has been for Bird, the Yankees will certainly be looking forward to getting their All-Star first baseman back as they close in on a postseason berth.