Joe Girardi moved Mark Teixeira down the seventh on his lineup card for two nights, then moved him up to third Wednesday night.
Teixeira’s glove is still golden, but his bat is still quiet. He made a great diving stop to start a 3-6-3 double play, but he also went 0 for 2 with three walks, one with the bases loaded, in the Yankees’ series-closing, 8-3 win over the Royals. One run scored when he rapped into a 4-6-3 double play. He’s down to .226 with five homers and 21 RBI.
Besides being sick with bronchial inflammation and a resulting cough for most of the season, Teixeira thinks there has been a problem with his approach — not being aggressive enough.
“I’m putting too many balls in play instead of taking that swing to hit a home run and drive the ball,” Teixeira said. “I’ve never been someone who just wants to put the ball in play. In years past, a 1-0 or a 2-0 pitch, it’s maybe a little bit up or a little bit down, you swing and you foul it off or you swing and miss. Now I’m putting that ball in play, which (stinks).
“I go back to Kevin Long and I say, ‘Why couldn’t I just foul that ball off?’ It’s unfortunate. Baseball is such a fine line between having a good at-bat and hitting the ball hard or making an out. … While last year 39 home runs but a low batting average wasn’t good enough, I think I’d rather hit 39 home runs than 20 or 15. I think I’d rather drive in 111 runs than 80. So I’m going to be more aggressive.”
At least he reported a little improvement with his health after not starting in last weekend’s series against the Reds.
“The rest definitely helped,” Teixeira said. “Any time you’re injured, the rest is going to help. Hopefully … the day off will be good, too.”
The Yankees return to the field tomorrow night in Oakland.