Originally written June 04, 2013 on Bronx Pinstripes:
Through 57 games, slightly more than one-third of the season, the Yankees hold a 32-25 record — and have as good a chance to win the AL East as the Red Sox, Rays, and Orioles do.  The Yankees can look forward to a healthy Jeter returning after the All Star break, Granderson re-returning from a hand/wrist injury, and (sigh) Alex Rodriguez’s potential return from oblivion.  Michael Pineda is set to begin a rehab assignment this week, and could return for the pennant race.  But there is one player who can have as big an impact on the remainder of the 2013 season as anyone: Mark Teixeira. Mark Teixeira’s OPS has dropped 117 points in three seasons since 2009. (Image from Wikimedia Commons.) Is Mark Teixeira the best player on the Yankees?  No.  At this point in his career, I’d rank him behind Cano and Sabathia — somewhere closer to Granderson and Jeter (when healthy).  Is he the most important player for the Yankees as they enter the final 105 games this season?  I guess if you don’t rank as the best player on the team, then no, Tex is not the most important Yankee.  Cano’s everyday presence in the lineup is more crucial to the success of the team than Teixeira’s, as is consistency from CC, Kuroda, and Pettitte. So then why can Teixeira make-or-break the Yankees down the stretch?  It’s simple: other than Cano, the Yankees do not have a consistent force in the lineup. Vernon Wells and Travis Hafner have done an admirable job through the first two months; but we have already seen Wells’ volatility (he is 4 for his last 40 – even I can do the math on that one, that is a whopping .100 batting average).  Hafner, while he does have 9 home runs, is a check-swing away from another shoulder or back strain.  The Yankees lineup has even gotten to the point where Girardi was forced to put Lyle Overbay in right field on Monday night for the first time in his 13 year career (Overbay had never played anywhere other than first base). On most nights the Yankees lineup is filled with players closer to AARP than the prime of their careers, so 2.5 games out of first place in early June is an accomplishment at the very least.  But if the Yankees are going to make a run at the American League then Mark Teixeira, almost by default, will have to perform on an MVP-type level this summer.  The strike outs will have to come down and the slugging percentage will have to go up, which will in turn give some protection to Cano, who we all know is far-and-away the Yankees best hitter.  In 2009 Teixeira was the Yankees best hitter.  He finished second in AL MVP voting, led the league in home runs, RBIs, and total bases, and was a legitimate force in the middle of the Yankees lineup. The Yankees will need some of that ’09 magic – which wasn’t that long ago – from Teixeira to win the Division and make a run at the pennant in 2013.
1 Comment:
  • So far s good, maybe he won't have his usual slump to start a season since he only started it two months in. GO YANKEES!!!!
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Cowboys' Spillman accused of rape at team hotel

Report: Patriots benched WR for mouthing off to coach

Jose Bautista busts up reporter over Twitter

What to watch in the NL Wild Card game

Sammy Watkins calls out EJ Manuel

Larry Donnell benches himself in fantasy, loses because of it

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Josh Gordon says NFL’s drug policy is harrassment

Steve Smith: Ron Rivera hid in his office after cutting me

Rondo hoping for an opening night return from broken hand

Jon Gruden on Raiders job: 'I'm not thinking about coaching'

Tom Brady defends not congratulating Garoppolo on TD

Ohio State student who ran on field loses full scholarship

Byron Scott explains why Kobe wouldn't make a good coach

WATCH: Mayweather shocked someone doesn’t know who he is

Who is the new face of MLB?

NHL 15 predicts the LA Kings win the Cup again

J.J. Watt buys his mom a new car for her birthday

Ranking the NFL coaches already sitting on the hot seat

WATCH: Smith tells Panthers to go home and mow his lawn

The best games on the NFL slate in Week 5

Aaron Rodgers says smoking gesture a tribute to Jay Cutler

What will the A’s look like in 2015?

Major League Baseball's 2014 All-Disappointment Team

Jeter introduces 'The Players Tribune,' 'The Voice of the Game'

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

Scott: Kobe would not be a good coach

Pats WR benched for mouthing off?

What to watch in the NL Wild Card game

Sammy Watkins calls out EJ Manuel

Donnell benches himself in fantasy and loses

Gordon: Drug policy is harrassment

Who is the new face of baseball?

Steve Smith blasts Panthers coach, GM

What will the A’s look like in 2015?

All-Disappointment Team in MLB

Ryan Lochte: Phelps made dumb decision

WATCH: Brett Favre in new commercial

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.