First pitch: Replacing Teixeira

That Steve Pearce move couldn't have been made at a better time for the Yankees.

Before they knew that Mark Teixeira would be out with a Grade 1 left calf strain, the Yanks acquired Pearce from the Astros for cash considerations.

Pearce, a journeyman first baseman/outfielder, will now be a part of the platoon called upon to replace Teixeira at first base.

You can expect to see Nick Swisher at first in place of Teixeira in the coming days. Swisher filled in for Teixeira at times earlier in the season when Tex was sidelined with a wrist ailment. Eric Chavez, Casey McGehee and Pearce could also spend some time at first in place of Tex.

No matter who replaces Teixeira (.256, 23 HR, 81 RBIs), his absence leaves a gaping hole in the offense.

"He's been such a backbone to our lineup," Swisher said. "I didn't hear anything on how long he's going to be out for, but for a guy like that to be out of our lineup, man, that's a big deal."

It sure is. But if Swisher can continue to hit as he has of late (.363, 6 HR, 20 RBIs in his last 20 games), the impact of Teixeira's absence may be lessened.

Don't forget, though, that you're also losing Tex's glove.

Putting Swisher at first means using Andruw Jones or Raul Ibanez in the outfield. If that's the case, the Yankees' defense may suffer.

"We're going to have to step it up, man. We've been dealing with stuff like this all year," Swisher said. "As bad as it is to say, I guess the show goes on, you know?"

QUESTION: Who would you like to see replace Teixeira? How much will this injury impact the Yankees?

Up Now: Johnette Howard looks at the Yanks' 22-game stretch against AL East foes and gives credit to manager Joe Girardi for the way he's handled things in 2012. I have items on Rafael Soriano's meltdown, injury updates on Alex Rodriguez and Andy Pettitte, and notes on Derek Jeter, Robinson Cano and Swisher.

Coming soon: The clubhouse will open around 3:30 p.m. Tuesday for the second game of this three-game set. RHP Phil Hughes (12-11, 4.15 ERA) takes on LHP Ricky Romero (8-11, 5.63).