NEW YORK -- Workout day at Yankee Stadium began earlier for Mark Teixeira than most on Friday, when he played in a simulated game with Brett Gardner and Jayson Nix, facing pitches from Adam Warren and David Aardsma before a team workout began later at night.
Teixeira got three regular-season games under his belt after missing a month with a Grade 1 left calf strain, but he still does not have his timing at the plate -- prompting concern entering a month in which he historically struggles as much as he does in April.
"I've always been knocked for having slow Aprils, and there's a reason," Teixeira said. "It does take a while to get your timing back as a switch-hitting power hitter. Once I do, I do feel pretty good. I'm just hoping to get hot. You want to be hot going into the playoffs."
Teixeira went just 1-for-12 in his three games back. His only hit was a two-run homer Monday against Alfredo Aceves, who threw Teixeira seven consecutive changeups before one landed in the second deck in right field.
"Why Aceves threw me seven straight? I don't know," Teixeira said. "I think that was probably a gift for me there."
Gifts will be hard to come by for the remainder of October, a month in which Teixeira is a career .207 hitter in the playoffs. He has as many strikeouts, 31, as postseason games, driving in 13 runs, scoring 19 and hitting only three home runs in that time.
Teixeira does not run from the reality, calling his previous October performances "personally not good," but the reason he took extra swings Friday was not his history, but his more recent results.
Manager Joe Girardi believes New York's three days off between games will benefit Teixeira's calf, which he is still careful with, but pushed while attempting to beat out some double plays in his three games back. Teixeira says he continues to feel better every day, but points to his lack of rhythm at the plate as a reason to regret the extra days off -- missing 30 games from late August until October did not do him any favors.
"That's why I'm out there getting extra at-bats in a simulated game," Teixeira said. "I'm one of the streakiest hitters in baseball and I'm hoping to get on a hot streak. Not being able to get your timing down is tough, and that's what I'm trying to do now."