Yankees first baseman Mark Teixeira is notorious for his slow starts during a season, but his 2016 slump is his worst to date. Through May 23rd, the switch hitter is batting a dismal .193, with only three home runs and 12 RBIs. Teixeira has been reaching base via walk, but that only brings his on-base percentage to .295. The Yankees have been playing better baseball as of late, but if this aging slugger could be of any help, the Yankees would be able to content for an AL East title.
The Yankees offense is one of the worst in baseball, and Teixeira isn’t helping their cause. The Yankees are amongst the worst in baseball in hits, average, on-base percentage and RBIs; all being 21st or worse. A majority of this Yankees lineup is older; seven of the nine regular position players are 32 or older. And that certainly shows in their production. Teixeira’s .193 average and 12 RBIs are the worst on the Yankees of their everyday starters. Alex Rodriguez started this season slow as well, and has spent a good deal of time on the disabled list. With the lack of production from the two biggest bats in the Yankee lineup, it’s no wonder their offense has struggled.
Teixeira’s biggest problem this year has simply been putting the ball in play. He has struck out a team worst 44 times, which is amongst the worst in baseball as well. Teixeira has almost struck out as many times as he has reached base this year — 49 — which includes 21 walks and 28 hits. Being in the middle of the lineup, “Tex” is expected to put the ball in play and drive in runners when they are in scoring position. When you fail to do this, or simply put the ball in play, it puts more pressure on your teammates and makes it harder for your team to win games.
Mark Teixeira’s slow starts are something the Yankees have dealt with ever since they signed him before the 2009 season. He has always turned it around and managed to be a 30 home run, 100 RBI guy, but his younger days are behind him. Teixeira’s age is finally starting to catch up to him, and his normally April-long slumps are turning into May- and possibly June-long slumps. The Yankees cannot afford to keep waiting around for him to figure it out. There have been rumors that the Yankees could possibly trade Teixeira around the trade deadline, and that wouldn’t be the worst idea for the Bombers.
Teixeira’s contract is up after the 2016 season, and for the Yankees to get rid of him and acquire someone who can help, not only this year, but long term would be in their best interest. Mark Teixeira has been holding the Yankees back during the 2016 season, and they can’t wait around forever. They either need him to turn it around quickly, or they will need to make changes and possibly find themselves a new first baseman.