NEW YORK -- Mark Teixeira has already missed 19 of the Yankees' first 113 games due to an assortment of injuries, and he will miss at least one more on Thursday after suffering a cut on the little finger of his left hand that required three stitches to close.
Teixeira suffered the injury sliding into home plate hand-first in the eighth inning, the inner part of his pinkie colliding with the spike of Detroit Tigers catcher Bryan Holaday. Teixeira, who was originally called out, had the presence of mind to signal himself safe -- the call was eventually overturned after a replay -- before clutching his hand in pain at the plate, where he was almost immediately surrounded by Yankees medical personnel.
"It's a really, really bad cut," Teixeira said. "I took one look at it and looked away."
Under prodding from reporters, Teixeira peeled off the bandage to reveal a small cut near the webbing between his pinkie and ring finger neatly closed with black surgical thread. X-rays of the finger were negative and Teixeira was able to move it, making it seem unlikely there was ligament damage.
Still, Yankees manager Joe Girardi said Teixeira would not be in the lineup for Thursday afternoon's series finale against the Tigers.
"I don’t think he’s a player for tomorrow," Girardi said. "And I don’t know what this means with the stitches. I didn’t have a chance to talk to the doctor ... but he won’t be in there tomorrow."
Teixeira, who has spent time on the disabled list this season with a hamstring strain, has also missed time due to inflammation in his surgically-repaired wrist, and back spasms. He said he hoped his absence from the lineup would be "hopefully not long."
But Teixeira admitted that right now he could not grip a bat, and expects the injury would trouble him more while batting from the right side. Tomorrow's Tiger starter, Rick Porcello, is a righty against whom Teixeira would bat left-handed.
"We'll see how it feels tomorrow," he said. "I may wake up tomorrow and it feels great. We'll just see."
But Girardi seemed pretty certain his Thursday lineup would be minus its most powerful bat -- Teixeira leads the team in home runs (19) and RBIs (52).
“He’s a big part of our lineup," said Brian McCann, whose seventh-inning home run off Justin Verlander broke a 1-1 tie. "He gets on base, hits home runs, drives in big runs. Hopefully it won’t be too long. We need him in this lineup."
Teixeira scored the Yankees' fifth and final run of the game on the play where he sustained his injury; it was a bizarre chain of events that started with a great diving stop by Miguel Cabrera on McCann's grounder in the hole -- from where he got the force at second -- and ended with Tigers shortstop Andrew Romine firing the relay practically into the Yankees dugout. The ball caromed off the netting in front of the Yankees bench right into the hands of pitcher Blaine Hardy, who fired home. It was a close play but replays showed Teixeira had snuck his hand onto the plate just before the tag.
"There was really no plate for me to slide into. When there's no plate, you just kind of try to touch the plate real quick with your hand," he said. "Unfortunately, I got the cleat. You play hard, that's what happens."