Mark Teixeira is the bat the Yankees have needed

[caption id="attachment_77065" align="aligncenter" width="300"]Getty Images / Jim McIsaac Getty Images / Jim McIsaac[/caption]

I used to be down on Mark Teixeira. I felt bad for him because of the injuries, but at the same time, the injuries drove me crazy.

The Yankees paid a lot of money for him and he couldn’t stay healthy over the last several years. I wondered if Teixeira would actually be good again – or come close to what he did in New York in 2009. That year, he was great: 122 RBI, 39 HR, .292 BA, .948 OPS, and finished second in the MVP voting.

This year, my feelings for Teixeira have been different. I love all the extra base hits, but it actually looks like Teixeira is having fun. I see a lot of smiles out there and he genuinely looks like he is enjoying baseball. This hasn’t been the case for the last couple of years.

But even greater than my feelings – because, really, it doesn’t matter what I feel about him – is that New York needs this. Teixeira needs to be a powerful bat in the middle of that order and the Yankees have needed him to be a threat rather than a pop-up machine.

Batting average isn’t everything, but from 2010 to Wednesday, his BA was .244 with an OBP of .341. From 2003-08, his average was .290 with an OBP of .378. When he comes in batting close to .300 – and .308 in 2008, there is a certain expectation. After the 2010, he didn’t live up to them.

It’s great to see Teixeira having a healthy season. Even though his batting average is not great, Teixeira is making the most of his at-bats. The 2015 All-Star has 24 home runs with 65 RBI, and more than half of his hits been of the extra-base variety.

These are legitimately Teixeira’s best numbers in about four years. A good Teixeira, plus a good ARod and great bullpen has the Yankees sitting in first place in the AL East. Continue reading Mark Teixeira is the bat the Yankees have needed

Mark Teixeira leaves game with a hamstring strain

Mark Teixeira left Friday’s game with a strained right hamstring. He stretched for a foul ball, but came up holding his right leg. He didn’t look happy – a look we’ve seen before. Trainer Steve Donahue and manager Joe Girardi came out to talk to the Yankees first baseman and less than a minute later, they walked into the clubhouse. Teixeira played in just 15 games last season, missing the year with a wrist injury that required surgery. Teixeira strained his right hamstring in Game 4 of the 2010 American League Championship Series. If Teixeira misses a significant amount of Continue reading Mark Teixeira leaves game with a hamstring strain

WBC Paying For Teixeira While On The DL

This is a rule I had no idea about. According to Buster Olney, the WBC is paying the money that Mark Teixeira is owed while he’s on the disabled list. I assume that since the injury took place while he was  a part of the WBC, whatever body will cover the Yankees’ cost while out with his wrist injury. This equates to about $7-$8 million, depending on how long he’s out. This could explain the team’s sudden ability to spend, since they’ll be adding $13 million to the payroll over the next two years by acquiring Vernon Wells from the Angels. I have no idea how this affects the Yankees’ luxury tax, because few people even knew this existed up until tonight.

Ken Rosenthal adds, the WBC insurance covers players who are on the DL for over 30 days. It also covers players who return from the DL, and thereafter reinjure themselves. Continue reading WBC Paying For Teixeira While On The DL

Internal Options To Replace Teixeira

Brian Cashman hasn’t decided on replacing Mark Teixeira from inside or outside the organization, but it seems that he’s leaning towards the former. The team has few young internal options at first base, but with Kevin Youkilis‘ versatility at the corners, the Yankees could opt for a third baseman. Guys like Corban Joseph, David Adams, and J.R. Murphy all have limited experience at third, and it’s hard to imagine that their range or glove at the position would suffice for an organization pushing forward a defensive minded team. The Yankees will probably go with an older and safer option.

Dan Johnson– Johnson finally landed his first Spring Training hit yesterday, and now would be a great time to start swinging the bat. Through 2700+ innings at first base, Johnson has shown average range. Offensively, he’s been slightly above average with his career 102 wRC+. The left-handed hitter might not had great contact numbers, but he draws a ton of walks and has no platoon split. He’d be a safe option to directly replace Teixeira’s on base percentage, but he otherwise offers very little upside.

Click “View Full Post” to continue. Continue reading Internal Options To Replace Teixeira

Trade Musing: Young And Cheap Teixeira Replacements

The Yankees are dropping like flies, and age is probably a big factor. Mark Teixeira and Curtis Granderson will be out until May, and that could be the equivalence of 10-15 homeruns lost. If you follow WAR, it doesn’t look as bad, and it’ll probably only cost the team around a win and a half, assuming the two would normally qualify for 4 wins each this season. The important thing is that the team can find good defensive replacements that have at least some offensive prowess.

Ideally, the Yankees would be targeting a Chase Headley or even a Logan Morrison to shore up current and future problems. While it answers some of the outfield and budget questions, obtaining such players will cost you a decent chunk of prospects, and who knows if they’re even available. Cashman is much more likely to target a veteran player on the last year of their contract, and Justin Morneau‘s name has been mentioned quite a bit. The problem here is that you’re temporarily stopping the injury problem with a 32 year old that has an extensive injury history. Once Teixeira returns, where do you play Morneau with Travis Hafner as your left-handed DH?

Cashman has done a fantastic job of targeting older veteran players in the past to create a strong bench without giving up prospects, but these practices have caught up to him. While Ichiro Suzuki was supposed to be a part-time player last year, he’s now a starter in 2013, and the margin for error has been dwindling down as these part-time players move from the bench to the starting lineup. Continue reading Trade Musing: Young And Cheap Teixeira Replacements

Mark Teixeira Injury Thoughts & Afterthoughts

Sad Teix

Well this has been a fun start to the 2013 season, huh?  Not exactly what any of us had in mind or expected after a long, frustrating offseason, but I guess for the sake of consistency and tying plot points together you might as well have an injury-filled preseason to reinforce just how bad the offseason was.  Mark Teixeira, whether he rebounded from last year or not, was one of the most important players in this lineup and now he’s out for 8-10 weeks with a sprained tendon in his right wrist.  To be honest, I’m still trying to process everything that relates to this injury in my head, so rather than attempt to formulate a smooth, logical response post I’m just going to go with the old “Ts and AferTs” standby and at least get my thoughts out.

Click “View Full Post” to continue. Continue reading Mark Teixeira Injury Thoughts & Afterthoughts

Teix Now Front And Center On The “Needs To Produce” Radar

(Syndicated from An A-Blog for A-Rod) 2013 was already going to be an important year for Mark Teixeira.  After a stellar Yankee debut season in 2009, the last three have been a downhill trend of offensive regression and 2013 was shaping up to be the tipping point for the rest of Teix’s Yankee career.  He could either bounce back and prove that he still had enough in the tank to be a consistent middle-of-the-order threat, or continue his decline, officially enter the downside of his career, and become the latest contract anchor on the payroll. Teix’s comments to Dan Barbarisi Continue reading Teix Now Front And Center On The “Needs To Produce” Radar

Piecing it Together: Part Three

In my last two pieces talked about building the lineup. To quickly test the potency of these lineups, I ran them through the lineup analysis tool from Baseball Musings. I used the PECOTA and ZiPS projections to get the players’ OBP/SLG. Remember, though, these projected OBP/SLG numbers are NOT split adjusted. Here are the results: PECOTA vs RHP This lineup projects to score 4.874 R/G, which translates to about 790 runs over the course of a 162 game season. PECOTA vs LHP, Rivera Using PECOTA and Juan Rivera as the, DH, the Yankees project to score 4.840 R/G, about 785 Continue reading Piecing it Together: Part Three