KANSAS CITY -- The Yankees are trying to shake some life into the heart of their lineup, sending Mark Teixeira out to bat third on Thursday while Robinson Cano will follow cleanup hitter Alex Rodriguez.
It has been a lackluster start to the season for all three big bats, but Teixeira isn't buying the idea that rewriting the lineup card is a quick fix. More likely, he suggests, the Yankees are due to break out.
"I think some home runs and some runs will give us a boost," Teixeira said. "I've never really bought into the lineup being that big of a deal. Sometimes it's fun to mix up the lineup, putting different guys in different order, putting someone else in the lineup to spark it -- we just haven't scored runs the last three games. Hopefully this will help."
Teixeira entered play on Thursday batting .226 with two home runs and 10 RBIs in 23 games. He hit an RBI double in his second at-bat Thursday, his 500th hit as a Yankee, driving in Derek Jeter, who had hit his 500th career double.
"Up until last week, people were coming up to me saying, 'Hey, you're starting off so great,'" Teixeira said. "That's the funny thing about baseball -- this early, a bad week looks really bad. And I had a really bad week. Up until that point, I was ahead of where I usually am. I just need to get hot, and help my team win some games."
While it is true that Teixeira has been a notoriously slow starter, even he is surprised that Cano (.255, 1 HR, 4 RBIs) and Rodriguez (.267, 4 HR, 11 RBIs) are also scuffling.
"You've got to trust that the history is going to repeat itself," manager Joe Girardi said. "You could look at different options if other people were hot. That's not what we have right now. We have some guys that are really scuffling offensively, so you ride it out and hope that it starts to turn around on this road trip."
Nix added to roster; Chavez on seven-day DL
KANSAS CITY -- It's not the easiest travel arrangement to go from Rochester, N.Y., a city that the Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees sometimes call home, to left field at Kauffman Stadium. Jayson Nix made it all the same.
Nix, 29, had his contract purchased from Triple-A and was added to the Yankees' roster on Thursday. In a corresponding move, Eric Chavez was placed on the seven-day disabled list with a concussion.
"I wouldn't say I was expecting it, but I also know that you never know in this game," said Nix, who found out about his promotion late on Wednesday and had to change planes in Chicago. "Anything can happen any day, so I wasn't surprised."
Nix had played eight games at Triple-A after attending Yankees Spring Training as a non-roster invitee, batting .233 (7-for-30) with five runs scored, four doubles and four RBIs. He had played left field once at Triple-A this year.
"I feel comfortable. I don't have a whole lot of games of experience," Nix said. "But every time I've been out there I've been comfortable and had no problems."
Chavez did not travel with the Yankees to Kansas City and was said to be resting comfortably at home after being checked out at a New York hospital on Wednesday. Manager Joe Girardi spoke to Chavez on Thursday and said it was too soon to know if Chavez could return in the minimum seven days.
"He was pretty good," Girardi said. "He said he felt like he had been in an accident a little bit. He was sore a little bit. He was much clearer than when I saw him last night."
Swisher, Gardner nearing return to action
KANSAS CITY -- The Yankees are getting closer to having both Brett Gardner and Nick Swisher back in their lineup, though they are proceeding cautiously in both cases.
Swisher hit in the batting cages on Thursday and will get on the field during batting practice Friday. Gardner is scheduled to hit in the batting cages on Friday and take live batting practice on Saturday, testing his strained right elbow.
"[I feel it] a little bit in my follow-through," said Gardner, who is eligible to be activated from the disabled list. "Hopefully it'll be better and I don't have any setbacks, so I'll be good to go."
Yankees manager Joe Girardi said that Gardner would probably need at least one Minor League rehab game, essentially ruling out that he could play this weekend against the Royals.
Girardi did not know if Swisher -- who is not on the disabled list with left leg pain -- would be available to play before Tuesday against the Rays at Yankee Stadium.
"I don't know. We'll see," Girardi said. "Let's see how the next couple of days go."
Curtis Granderson entered play on Thursday tied with the Rangers' Josh Hamilton and the Blue Jays' Edwin Encarnacion for first in the American League with nine home runs. He had also reached base safely in 23 straight games since Opening Day.
Joe Girardi was pleased that there have been modifications made to the outfield fence at Kauffman Stadium, where the Yankees lost a game because of a disputed Billy Butler home run last season. A pair of chain-link fences over the scoreboards have been reinforced with padding to make rulings easier for umpires.
On this date in 1936, Joe DiMaggio made his Major League debut, going 3-for-6 with three runs scored, a triple and an RBI in the Yankees' 14-5 win over St. Louis in the Bronx. On this date in 2005, Robinson Cano made his Major League debut, going 0-for-3 at Tampa Bay.