Analyzing moves made by the Yankees in the off-season and game recaps during the season.
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Thursday, January 26, 2012
Who's on First?
Alright, maybe that was a dumb question to ask, but it sounded fitting because of the mystery that awaits. Mark Teixeira will obviously the starting first baseman for the Yankees in 2012. He will not move to third base to let Swisher take over on first. (Prince Fielder joke...)
It is somewhat of a mystery however, regarding which Mark Teixeira we will see offensively. In 2011, Teixeira got off to a fast start. Everybody thought his April struggles would be over. Not quite the case. He started the season with a bang. He blasted 4 home runs in the first 4 games of the season. Although his power numbers were there for the remainder of the season, his batting average dipped significantly from the left side. The switch-hitter hit .248 overall with 39 home runs and 111 RBI for the season. The last two statistics are enticing, but the batting average looks terrible on the back of that baseball card. Going into the season, Teixeira was a career .286 hitter. He had a sub-par season in 2010 in the batting average department, but it was looked at as being an off-year for Teixeira. His average took an even further dive in 2011, leaving people to wonder if this is what they were going to get from Mark over the remainder of his contract.
Even with his terrible batting average, Teixeira killed lefties, batting right-handed. He hit a healthy .302 against righties. However, he hit a scary .224 as a lefty facing right-handed pitching. Teixeira knows that he had a down year in 2011. According to him, he is working hard in the off-season with hitting coach Kevin Long to tinker with his left-handed swing. Teixeira hit 24 home runs from the left side, but admits that he got a little pull-happy with the short porch at Yankee Stadium. Teixeira needs to be better consistently as a left-handed hitter. The shift is employed on Mark because teams have him figured out. They know that he will not hit anything to the opposite field from the left side, taking away groud ball hits that he would have otherwise gotten if he was not a dead pull hitter. I am confident that Teixeira will have a bounce back season in 2012.
My predictions for Teixeira in 2012: .270 BA, 34 HR, 108 RBI