Mandatory Credit: Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports

It's Great To Have Mark Teixeira Back

It doesn’t matter that the ball skidded over the top of the wall. The result was the same-a grand slam to ignite the New York Yankees offense and help them to a 7-4 victory over the Cleveland Indians. Most importantly, it meant that Mark Teixeira is finally on his way back.

“I usually don’t look at- bats where I get out, Teixeira has said. “I look and good swings I put on balls. Because of that good swing or good at-bat, I can see what I need to continue to work on and recreate.”

A replay of the swing reveals just that. His stride, his swing, his eyes focused on the ball as it made contact with the bat, it all  signaled a player who is finding his groove.

And the Yankees sure do need it. In their last seven games they have scored a mere 18 runs. That has caused them to slip out of first place, desperately searching for a way to score more runs.

The catalyst didn’t take long, either. Brett Gardner joined the party with a two-run single and Travis Hafner belted a home run of his own.

If it turns out that Teixeira is truly hitting his stride, it gives Yankees manager Joe Girardi flexibility in making the lineup. He now has someone else to protect Hafner or Robinson Cano, depending on how he sets the pins up. Hopefully, he will settle on something consistent instead of constantly moving players around in the lineup spots.

Lyle Overbay has filled in well at first base. Despite his two errors, for the most part he has provided solid defense. Still, there is something special about seeing Teixeira on the infield. It’s comforting knowing that he can scoop low throws and snag hot line drives.

Of course, one game only means that the jury is still out. He also has eight strike outs since returning. So let’s allow a ten game sample to accumulate and then revisit this. But a comparison of that grand slam swing to past videos shows he is getting back into his groove.

Tags: Brett Gardner Joe Girardi Mark Teixeira Travis Hafner

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