Despite Mark Teixeira only playing 11 games this season he has really a lot of criticism from some fans. I’m not sure how that makes sense, but I guess his .699 OPS after the 10 games, and a minor hamstring injury are reason enough to want Teixeira gone.
But no matter what those fans want, Teixeira is here to stay and his presence is actually very important to the Yankees. Out of all of the players on this Yankee team he probably has the best pure power. From 2010 to now he has an ISO of .230, which the 19th best in baseball, so even without his best years he is still a power threat (assuming his wrist is fine). The Yankees need his homerun potential in the lineup. Especially when Alfonso Soriano is in on one of his cold-streaks.
Power is very important in the playoffs, and it’s a pretty big deciding factor when it comes to the World Series. We could see the effect of power in games like yesterday. Garrett Richards was dominating the Yankees, and there was little hope that the team could muster back-to-back hits. That’s where a guy like Teixeira comes in handy. When good pitchers are on, it’s going to be difficult to play small-ball, a team needs a power source.
The possibility of him being a 30+ homerun guy again is very real, and much needed. The outfield isn’t going to be producing many homers, so the Yankees need Teixeira to be their power source.
Unlike Soriano, Teixeira is a pretty reliable player, and even if his power goes down, you can bet he will still have a good at-bat. Despite all his “struggles” this season he is second on the team in OBP, with a .386 mark. Getting on-base is nothing new for Teixeira, and it’s something the 2013 team really missed.
So far this season he only has two homers, but both have come in the last week of play. As a matter of fact, most of his production has come since coming off of the disabled list. This isn’t too surprising as one good game can change his entire stat-line at this point.
As of now Teixiera has a wOBA of .370 and wRC+ of 131. These numbers are similar to what he put up in 2011 (his last fully healthy year) and 2010. His numbers are pretty good considering his slow start, if he’s actually heating up now, we might get a glimpse of that 2009 player again. In 2009 he had a wRC+ of 142. He may not be that type of player anymore, but he probably can play to his 2011 numbers.
Of course this is all based on a tiny sample, but if it continues the Yankees will have a new cleanup hitter, and won’t be so reliant on some of their streakier players. At this point all we can do is hope that he stays healthy and that his wrist is completely back to normal.