In his career, Mark Teixeira’s slugging percentage for the month of April is .423. He’s slugged well over .500 in every other month. Teixeira is a notorious slow starter, but as the Yankees prepare for today’s first full-squad working, Teixeira is hoping the World Baseball Classic can rattle that cycle and get him on track earlier in the season.
“When I found out I was going to play in the WBC, I called (hitting coach Kevin Long) and said, ‘Let’s not build up to Opening Day,’” Teixeira said. “‘Let’s build up to the WBC. Let’s build up to the first of March.’ I think that will be good because there’s never really a sense of urgency because spring training is six weeks long. Now I kind of have two weeks to get ready. I’m in great shape, so I have no problem kind of ramping up the baseball activities and really making sure my swing is right, my timing is right. Hopefully it’s going to be great for the WBC.”
That change in approach, Teixeira believes, just might pay off when the regular season begins.
“I spend almost all offseason and all spring training lifting weights very hard, getting my body in shape for 162 (games),” Teixeira said. “Because of that, I think in April I’m a little tight, maybe a little sore. This year, I’ve cut back on that. I’m not really going to get any stronger as I get older. I just want to keep that strength, keep that flexibility, so I’ve cut back a little bit on the weightlifting already to make sure I’m not tight for the beginning of the season.”
Here’s some video of Teixeira speaking yesterday.