Teixeira sits out opener with lingering cough

Teixeira sits out opener with lingering cough

Teixeira sits out opener with lingering cough
NEW YORK -- The hacking cough that Mark Teixeira believes he picked up during the club's first homestand still hasn't subsided, and Yankees manager Joe Girardi hopes a day off will help the first baseman's troubles.

Teixeira was benched for Friday's series opener against the Reds, and Girardi said he wasn't sure if he would play the switch-hitter on Saturday either. Nick Swisher moved to first base on New York's lineup card, with Raul Ibanez slotting into right field.

"He's been going hard for us. He has had the issue, and we've talked about some days off on the road trip," Girardi said. "I'm going to see how he feels tomorrow. He doesn't sound real good again today."

Teixeira was 0-for-4 in Thursday's loss to the Blue Jays, coming up with runners in scoring position in each of his first three at-bats, and has five hits overall in his last 18 at-bats.

The Yankees were 0-for-8 with runners in scoring position on Thursday, but Teixeira's struggles seem to be looming larger than most. He is just 9-for-44 (.205) this year with RISP.

"It seems like there's been so much focus on Tex and what he has done with runners in scoring position," Girardi said. "There's about five or six other guys, and if all of the other guys were doing what they were supposed to be doing, we wouldn't be focused on Tex."

Girardi said that it is "a little bit" concerning that Teixeira's illness has not cleared up. He saw a specialist during the Yankees' most recent homestand and was encouraged by the visit, but has said that while the coughing fits haven't become worse, they also do not seem to be getting better.

"The bottom line is, we're trying to get him healthy," Girardi said. "We've sent him to a number of different doctors. He's been on a number of different medications. This is a job that you can't very often call in sick. You have to be really sick not to play in our job. We get four months off at the end; that's when you get well."