While the Yankees’ offense made drastic changes to their lineup over the winter with the likes of Carlos Beltran, Jacoby Ellsbury, and Brian McCann, they still have one power hole that could affect their entire 2014 aspirations. First baseman Mark Teixeira is still having problems with his wrist that sidelined him for most of last season.
Tex is historically known for his early season struggles, but a .091 spring training average (heading into Friday night’s game vs. the Marlins) has fans concerned that Tex will not be the player that hit 39 homers and drove in 122 runs back in 2009.
According to an article written by Kevin Kernan of the New York Post, Tex is quoted as saying:
“I’m just trying to protect it,’’ he said. “Taking your ‘A’ swing, taking that swing that is 100 percent and I need to trust that I can do that and not feel pain. I need to finish my swing instead of protecting my wrist. Last year, to protect my wrist, I didn’t finish my swing.’’
Texieira tore a tendon in his wrist last offseason in preparation for the World Baseball Classic. It caused him to miss all but 15 games during the 2013 season. Despite only having one extra-base hit this Spring, Tex still feels confident that he is going to turn it around:
“I need to work my way up, and get to the point where mechanically I’m 100 percent sound, the wrist is getting stronger and then I’ll be able to do my thing and I think I’m close to getting there,’’ Teixeira added.
With all the concerns of the Yankees’ infield, Teixeira is the last guy the team can afford to miss due to the lack of a backup first baseman and his consistent glove at the position. If he doesn’t have a good first couple of months, the fans will be quick to turn on him. However, in order to have that progress, Tex needs to find a way to stay healthy.