The Teixeira Factor
Mark Teixeira continues to hit in simulated games but not active batting practice and hopes to be back by very late May. The question is, Is he really going to help the Yankees? Let's take a look at The Teixeira Factor, how he will help and hurt the Yanks at the same time by returning from injury (partially torn tendon sheath in his right wrist).
Why he helps the Yanks: Tex provides depth on the team. But more importantly, his fielding is A+ every night. He is great at first base with the glove, he protects balls from going down the baseline for extra base hits and helps fielders by scooping up bad throws. He is the ultimate end to a double-play.
Why he hurts the Yanks: Tex always hits into the shift. His opposite field hitting in key situations is poor. And, he struggles with runners in scoring position, especially in the postseason. Finally, Teixeira is notorious for starting slow in April and May. Well, he is coming back in late May or June. Does that mean he won't hit until August? One of Teixeira's strengths is supposed to be the home run. Well, in 2012 he had seven home runs through 43 games. Lyle Overbay had seven home runs through 42 games in 2013. What's the difference? Teixeira's power is vastly overrated as we are finding out more this year.
The verdict: Teixeira is clearly declining, is getting older and is losing bat speed. The Yankees, the way they are playing now, don't really need him. They will, however, if the baseball nomads (Vernon Wells, Overbay, Travis Hafner) fatigue in August or cannot keep up the pace. Time will only tell.
By: Mike Lindsley, "Mid-Day with Mike," 1-4, Yankees pre/post game host on 104.5 The Team ESPN Radio. Follow him on Twitter @MikeLSports.