You had to know that this was coming. Even though the New York Yankees will be beginning their spring training schedule this week (thankfully, it’s been a looongg winter), Mark Teixeira won’t be a part of it, at least to start it. He still hasn’t faced live batting practice from pitchers, only coaches, and is just hitting off a tee. He will also have to tape his wrists this year. Tex said he’s about a week to 10 days away from playing in a game which would be March 3 vs the Nationals. Should the Yankees be worried?
Well, for one thing, if the Yanks have a healthy Tex at first, putting up numbers and being a switch hitting force in the middle of the lineup, it will alleviate some concerns about an infield, that on paper, may not be such a treat to watch in 2014. He should have a lot of RBI opportunities with Jacoby Ellsbury at the top of the order along with either Carlos Beltran (who’s an excellent number two hitter) or an if he stays healthy Derek Jeter or even Brett Gardner ahead of Tex.
The other thing about Teixeira is his gold glove caliber defense at first base. He’s saved Yankee infielders more than a few throwing errors since his arrival in 2009.
If Tex isn’t healthy, the Yankees don’t have a real backup plan at the position. Russ Canzler is probably that guy right now, but can he really be counted on? Guys like Lyle Overbay and Mark Reynolds aren’t out there, at least not right now anyway. Don’t be surprised if the Yankees bring in a right handed bat before opening day who can play the corner infield spots.
For a successful 2014, Mark Teixeira needs to be healthy. Right now isn’t the time to worry, but if this is still the case come a month from now, someone get me a big ol panic button to push.