[Mark] Teixeira is, in some ways, lucky. Whether it’s the afterglow of a championship, a bigger target in Javier Vazquez or the team’s 12-7 mark, his brutal April has escaped the tabloids’ spotlight. Perhaps this is progress, because in every measurable way, Teixeira, 30, is the same hitter he was a year ago. There are some fluctuations in his contact numbers — not quite as many line drives, a few more ground balls — but nothing that indicates a change in talent level given the limited number of plate appearances. No, Teixeira is mostly hitting in bad luck; he has an absurd .137 batting average on balls in play, the second-lowest mark in the game to Travis Snider, who has just been sent back to Triple-A. Also, just 9.5% of his fly balls have left the yard, about half of his career rate. Teixeira is doing what he does, just not getting the same results; his slow start in 2009 featured similar, if less extreme characteristics. There’s nothing to worry about here.
Be nice to see Teix break out tonight. Here’s hoping AJ Burnett is strong–but not too strong–and that the Yanks take the series before they return to the Bronx for the weekend.
[Photo Credit: Ken Aviation]