Plan A: Mark Teixeira
In 2015, Teixeira proved that when healthy, he is still a force in the middle of a lineup. However, health is precisely the problem with the first baseman. Teixeira has dealt with an assortment of injuries going back to 2012. While some of those injuries can be chalked up to bad luck, there’s no denying that Teixeira is injury prone. The Yankees are hoping he can continue where he left off before a foul ball to the leg ended his season in early September.
Plan B: Dustin Ackley
Plan B would have been an easy one to decide had young first baseman Greg Bird not had season ending shoulder surgery for his torn labrum. Instead, the Yankees will turn to Ackley to hold down first base when Teixeira needs rest or misses time because of injury. While Ackley’s defensive ability leaves something to be desired, his bat is intriguing. After acquiring him from the Mariners in a July deadline trade, Ackley impressed in 52 at-bats, hitting four home runs and batting .288 with a .987 OPS. While 52 at-bats is a small sample size, a change of scenery and a more hitter-friendly ballpark may have been all that Ackley needed to shine a light on his offensive potential that enticed the Mariners to select him second overall in the 2009 amateur player draft.