Originally written on Bronx Pinstripes  |  Last updated 11/18/14
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

Australian cricket player dies from head injuries

Wrigley Field bleacher renovation may be delayed

Yankees wanted Rollins but Phillies' price was too high

Pop misses game for medical reasons; Messina takes over

John Beilein upset with ESPN for late start time to game

Tyson Chandler felt like Knicks' scapegoat at times

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Fred Jackson has 'no respect' for Donte Whitner

Devon Still responds to unpaid child support allegations

Diamondbacks sign Cuban slugger Yasmany Tomas

Josh Gordon felt alienated by some in Browns organization

Jerry Jones: I'm a big admirer of Robert Griffin III

Raiola fined for uneccesarily striking Pats' Zach Moore

CM Punk opens up about leaving WWE, says he'll never return

Steelers turned down chance to be called 'America's Team'

Report: Small chance Raiders-Rams could be moved to Indy

Todd Gurley begins rehab after surgery on knee for torn ACL

Brodeur to practice with Blues

OSU player posts Michigan player's girlfriend as his 'WCW'

Jim Harbaugh's family may not eat turkey thanks to NBC

Ole Miss' The Grove threatened by Mississippi State fan

Is it time for the Redskins to move on from Robert Griffin III?

Top 10 fantasy football turkeys for 2014

WATCH: Coyotes lose in ugly fashion, score own goal in OT

Warriors are having tons of fun on team plane

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!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.

CM Punk opens up about leaving WWE

Wrigley renovation may be delayed

Steelers could have been America's Team

John Beilein upset with ESPN

Should Washington move on from RG3?

Dominic Raiola fined for cheap shots

Game of the week: Kansas City Chiefs vs. Denver Broncos

Rose leaves with injury again

WATCH: Pierce signs for fan during game

Report: McCoy to start over RG3

Braxton Miller headed to Oregon?

10 most one-sided college football rivalries

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.