NEW YORK -- There has been a sentiment among a vocal portion of the Yankees' fan base that seems ambivalent about the upcoming returns of Mark Teixeira and Kevin Youkilis, a stance that perplexes manager Joe Girardi.
"It is kind of unusual, when you think about the numbers that these two guys have put up over their career, and the importance of what Tex has been to us here and Youk has been other places," Girardi said. "It is kind of strange."
Girardi said that with Teixeira and Youkilis expected to return on Friday against the Red Sox, his plan is to put both players in the lineup. That could displace, among others, first baseman Lyle Overbay and third baseman David Adams, both of whom have been productive.
"I'm not sure what you expect me to do with a starting player; sit him?" Girardi said. "I mean, we're going to bring them back when we feel they're ready to go. If we feel they're ready to go, we're going to play them. That's the reason you bring them back."
Teixeira has not played at all this season due to a partially torn tendon in his right wrist, while Youkilis batted .266 with two homers and seven RBIs before he was lost to a lumbar spine sprain in late April.
Overbay has said that he hopes there will be room for him to coexist on the roster with the returning players, while Adams said that he tries not to think much about what could come down the line.
"That's the nature of the business -- it's what happens," Girardi said. "A lot of times, it's an opportunity for a player to open someone's eyes or to get their feet wet or to let us know that they can still play. Everyone talks about chemistry; chemistry is usually brought about by winning games. If we continue to win games, people probably won't talk about the chemistry."
Bryan Hoch is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and read his MLBlog, Bombers Beat. Josh Vitale is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.