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Overbay to handle first base with Tex out of action

Overbay to handle first base with Tex out of action

ANAHEIM -- Since he arrived in the Bronx, Lyle Overbay's role with the Yankees has been fluid.

He filled in for a couple of months when first baseman Mark Teixeira was on the disabled list. When Teixeira returned, Overbay shifted to a spot outfielder, backup first baseman and pinch-hitter. Now, with Teixeira's right wrist problems flaring up again, for at least the next couple of games, Overbay is penciled back in as the Yankees' everyday first baseman.

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So how exactly does he deal with all the uncertainty and the changes? It's simple, he says. When you've been around the game long enough -- he's played 13 big league seasons with seven different teams -- you begin to understand that you have to perform, no matter the role, he says.

"I don't have anything else to prove," Overbay said. "I'm just here to win. Whatever that role is. When you're young, you've got stuff to prove. I'm beyond that, so I think that's why it maybe makes it easier for a veteran."

An MRI on Teixeira's wrist showed no torn tendons, and the club is still uncertain about a possible DL stint, but manager Joe Girardi ruled him out for the foreseeable future.

"My plan is to put Overbay at first base," Girardi said. "I know we're going to see some lefties against the Dodgers when we get home, but my plan is to put him at first base."

When the Yankees take on the Dodgers in the Bronx this week, rookie southpaw Hyun-Jin Ryu is set to take the ball for Los Angeles in the opener. The Dodgers have yet to officially announce their Wednesday starter, but it seems likely to be left-hander Chris Capuano.

Heading into Sunday's game, Overbay is hitting just .164 this season against left-handers, but he's batting .270 against righties. Seven of his eight homers have come against right-handers.

Still, he's had plenty of at-bats against left-handers this season (59, to be exact). That's a prospect he wasn't expecting when he inked a Minors deal with the club in late March.

"Some more injuries put me in there even more against lefties," Overbay said. "I think they had the vision of me playing against righties. And then a couple of the other things happened that I kind of got that opportunity [to play] every day."

AJ Cassavell is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @ajcassavell. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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