As Weather Heats Up, So Does Mark Teixeira
New York Yankees first baseman Mark Teixeira got off to a hot start this season and many believed this was the year the veteran put his usual slow starts behind him. That was not the case however as Teixeira finished the month of April batting just .253 with five home runs.
As the calendar struck May, particularly the last two weeks, Teixeira’s bat has started to heat up. With one game left this month, the first baseman has already hit ten home runs in May.
After homering for the fourth time in five games, Teixeira is now tied with Curtis Granderson for the team lead in home runs with 16 on the year. His two-run shot in the first inning yesterday was all Yankees starting pitcher Bartolo Colon needed. Colon pitched a complete game shutout over the Oakland A’s.
Teixeira has always been a slow starter and this year may be another case of business as usual. Teixeira’s average of .258 is still a bit lower than we are accustomed to, but as the warmer months roll in, that average will likely rise with the temperatures.
It is so important to this team that Teixeira hits on a consistent basis. With Granderson having a stand out season, having the two players hitting back to back in the lineup is dangerous for opposing pitchers. With “Tex” sandwiched between Granderson and Alex Rodriguez, he is an important piece of the Yankees lineup, one that has the potential to put up big numbers.
Teixeira has done a lot of damage in the first inning of games this season. Batting from the three spot in the Yankees lineup, Tex always comes to the plate in the first inning. He has reached base almost half the time in the first inning of games, holding a .471 on base percentage in those situations. Five of his 16 home runs have come in the opening frame.
The first baseman has also hit well with runners in scoring position. In 36 at-bats with runners in scoring position, Teixeira is batting .316 with a .816 slugging percentage. He has hit one double and six home runs in those situations.
While his overall average may not be what Yankees fans would like, Mark Teixeira has been a clutch hitter this season. With June set to arrive, Teixeira appears ready to explode in the middle of the Yankees lineup.
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