Mark Teixeira has basically said that he doesn’t expect to be a .300 hitter at this stage of his career. He last had a batting average that high in 2008, and he hasn’t hit better than .256 since 2009. He’s a guy who’s supposed to play strong defense at first base, put together some patient at bats, and most of all drive in runs by hitting for power.
His offensive production isn’t going to come from base hits. It’s going to come from home runs. And in the past five games, Teixeira has hit three home runs.
“It tells me I’m getting better,” Teixeira said. “I’m getting close. When you start driving the ball, you know that’s what I’m supposed to be doing. That’s a good sign.”
Teixeira has routinely hit 30-plus home runs in his career, including 39 just three years ago. But in 2012 he was limited to just 123 games, which kept his home run total at 24. Last year, he played in just 15 games and went deep three times. Wrist surgery created some concern about whether he’d be able to truly drive the ball again.
“I think he’s feeling more comfortable as he’s getting at-bats,” Joe Girardi said. “I thought if you look at the season, it got interrupted when he went on the DL for two weeks. He’s swinging the bat well, he’s being patient and he’s walking. He’s doing the things that he needs to do, that we’re used to seeing from Mark. I do think he probably feels more comfortable up there.”
Looks that way, and Teixeira said it feels that way as well.
“A little bit better,” he said. “Still a long way to go. Still haven’t played that many games. I’d like to get better obviously, but the last couple of days I’ve put some good swings on balls and it’s good to see the ball getting out of the park and driving it. It’s good sign.”
Associated Press photo