CLEVELAND -- Vernon Wells couldn't have seemed happier to learn that he had been traded to the Yankees, and through his early performance in his new uniform, that positive attitude has translated into results.
Wells, who was acquired from the Angels in exchange for two Minor Leaguers on March 26, has impressed manager Joe Girardi with the consistency of his at-bats as well as the small adjustments he has been able to make in his plate approach.
"My mindset going into Spring Training was to treat it like it was the regular season -- that those at-bats meant as much as the at-bats today mean," Wells said. "It kind of got me focused in from day one of Spring Training. That approach helped me.
"Once the season started, it just seems like it was an extension of Spring Training. Hopefully, I can continue doing what I'm doing, but the mindset of the regular season and Spring Training is no different."
As of Thursday, Wells was batting .360 with two homers and four RBIs in his first eight games as a Yankee, including notching six hits in 18 at-bats on the current road trip.
He has had company in that department, and Girardi could not have asked for more from the three new players in the heart of his lineup: Wells, Kevin Youkilis and Travis Hafner.
"They've driven in runs. They've gotten on base. They've played very well," Girardi said. "You look at the three guys in the middle, they have done a really, really good job for us, so I've been really pleased with what they have done."
Wells guessed that this level of production must have been what general manager Brian Cashman had in mind when he was assembling the Opening Day roster.
"I think that's why Cash brought us here," Wells said. "Veteran guys, guys that have been through ups and downs and have seen the best and worst of this game, to be able to come here as a group and help each other, helps this ballclub to be where we are right now.
"We couldn't ask for more than that. We need to continue to be consistent with our approaches, continue to improve in different areas until we start getting bits and pieces of this puzzle back."
Tex could be swinging a bat again soon
CLEVELAND -- First baseman Mark Teixeira will have his right wrist examined on Friday in New York, and he believes he'll receive clearance to resume swinging a fungo bat.
Teixeira, who celebrated his 33rd birthday on Thursday, has been on the disabled list with a torn ECU sheath in the wrist and is hopeful that Dr. Melvin Rosenwasser will agree that he is progressing as he continues to eye a May 1 return to the lineup.
"It feels really good. I really could not be happier with the progress," Teixeira said. "You need to be at a certain level, and right now I'm at that level where it feels good. I'm confident the doctor will let me swing tomorrow, and hopefully, every day it keeps getting better. That's what has happened so far."
Teixeira could resume taking batting practice on the field during the April 19-21 series against the Blue Jays in Toronto. If that is the case, he would travel with the team when it goes on to play the Rays and stay at the Yankees' complex in Tampa to play in extended spring training games.
"I can get five, seven, nine at-bats if I want, every day," he said. "If that goes well for a few days, as well as playing defense, then I can get a couple of real games under my belt just to get that normal routine and then, hopefully, be with the team after that."
Teixeira injured the wrist while hitting off a tee during workouts for the World Baseball Classic and has decided not to take nearly as many swings in the future.
"This was an overuse injury; everyone I've talked to has kind of said the same," he said. "I take so many swings being a switch-hitter, I just need to back off a little bit. I'm going to look at it, especially this year while I'm coming back, as quality vs. quantity."
Granderson cleared to resume throwing
CLEVELAND -- The protective brace was removed from Curtis Granderson's right wrist on Thursday, and the outfielder has been cleared to resume throwing. He sustained a fracture when he was hit by a pitch in the Yankees' first Spring Training game, on Feb. 24.
Granderson posted a photo of his wrist to his Facebook page on Thursday, writing, "Brace is finally off for non baseball activities. Another step closer!"
Manager Joe Girardi said the news represents a big step for Granderson.
"That means the bone has healed, and now it's just the rehab process and getting him to where he can play in some games and then getting him back here," Girardi said. "So that's real encouraging."
Granderson resumed throwing at the Yankees' Minor League complex in Tampa on Thursday and will soon progress to swinging a bat.
Shortstop Derek Jeter is also rehabbing in Tampa as he recovers from surgery on his left ankle and had a normal off-day on Thursday.
"I think he's OK," Girardi said. "I didn't get any alarming news."
• Ichiro Suzuki was not in the lineup for Wednesday game, which was rained out, as manager Joe Girardi wanted to get Brennan Boesch more playing time, but Ichiro was back in right field for Thursday's game. "I don't want to sit Ich two days. That's not something I want to do," Girardi said. "We anticipate him being our everyday right fielder, so I'll get Boesch in there sometime this weekend."
• The Yankees sent CC Sabathia to New York early in advance of his start on Friday, but they also instructed Hiroki Kuroda and Andy Pettitte to accompany him because of the possibility that Thursday's game could run late due to weather. Girardi said that all three pitchers went to Progressive Field early on Thursday to get their work in.
• As of Thursday, Kevin Youkilis was one of three Major Leaguers to hit safely in all of his club's games this season, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. Adam Jones of the Orioles and Alex Rios of the White Sox are the others.
• On this date in 1912, the Yankees debuted pinstripes for the first time, wearing them for their final home opener at Hilltop Park -- a 5-3 loss to the Red Sox. The Yankees abandoned the pinstriped look for the 1913 and 1914 seasons, but they were back to stay in 1915.