Teixeira revealed Saturday that his arthritic right knee has been sore and swollen for about two and a half weeks, but he figured that it was just the usual wear and tear that comes in a 14th Major League season. But soon after his second-inning at-bat in Friday's 6-5 loss to the Orioles, Teixeira felt his knee lock up.
"I knew something was wrong once it locked up that bad," he said.
An MRI Friday night revealed the cartilage tear.
Teixeira's DL stint puts his latest attempt to turn his season around on hold. The 36-year-old is hitting .180 with three homers and 12 RBIs this season and is 3-for-43 since May 17. He has also battled neck spasms this year and missed four games from May 25-28 as a result.
"Nothing feels good right now," Teixeira said. "My body just hasn't worked right this year, and it's so frustrating because I do everything I'm supposed to do. I worked my tail off this offseason after breaking my leg, but my body just hasn't worked.
"Every time I've asked my body to respond, something happens, whether it's a bulging disk in my neck or torn cartilage. It's just really frustrating because I want to be out there playing at a high level."
Teixeira, who will be further evaluated by Yankees team physician Christopher Ahmad on Monday, is hopeful that he will not require surgery.
"We're hoping that conservative treatment will help it," he said, "but we'll definitely have those conversations in the next few days when I get back to New York."
The Yankees called up infielder Chris Parmelee from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre and transferred Dustin Ackley, who is out for the season with a shoulder injury, to the 60-day DL.
Parmelee, 28, is expected to split time at first base with Rob Refsnyder. Refsnyder started at first base for the first time as a professional Saturday in Baltimore. With Teixeira sidelined, and both Ackley and Greg Bird out for the season, the Yankees are down to their fourth and fifth options at first base.
"It's a big loss," manager Joe Girardi said. "I know his numbers aren't where we expected them to be, but we thought that at any point, he would get hot and do his thing. It's a very good first baseman, it's a switch-hitter with power in the middle of the order that you're missing, but the other guys need to step up."
Teixeira has played in just 60 percent of New York's games since 2012, after playing at least 145 games in eight of his first nine big league seasons. He is in the final year of an eight-year, $180 million deal.
"Whenever I come back, I've got to get the job done," he said. "I'm going to make sure that I'm healthy and strong when I come back, because obviously there's an issue here that we're going to have to take care of. It will help my neck, too. I think this will help my neck calm down a little bit, and hopefully come back stronger."