In fairness to Teixeira

teixeira_350_030609.jpg(IF A-ROD CAN’T PLAY LIKE A-ROD)
“Something Shakespeare never said is, ‘You’ve got to be kidding.'” — Robyn Hitchcock

Today the wires are bursting with, “Now the pressure is on you, Mark Teixeira” stories. Those stories couldn’t be more loaded with bull if they mooed. This is a simplistic effort to create a new Yankees scapegoat since Alex Rodriguez’s injury effectively insulates him from criticism. If Rodriguez misses a significant chunk of the season, Teixeira can hit like Lou Gehrig and Don Mattingly put together and still not overcome the basic weakness of the offense.

Let’s go around the diamond:

1B Mark Teixeira: Solid producer, typically scrapes the underside of MVP-level production but could easily rise to that level with a good season.

2B Robinson Cano: Has to hit .300 to contribute. He might do that, he might not.

3B Cody Ransom: Has some pop, but is unlikely to hit for sustainable average (PECOTA: .216/.293/.386).

SS Derek Jeter: Offense has declined in two straight seasons. Average of five projection systems: .300/.368/.419.

LF Johnny Damon: Almost certain to take a giant step back.

CF Brett Gardner and pals: Any production will be a bonus.

RF Nick Swisher: should be productive in a lower echelon kind of way, Xavier Nady less so, either way, not a big plus.

DH Hideki Matsui: should hit decently, but not at an MVP level.

C Jorge Posada: may or may not be ready to open the season, may or may not hit as well as he used to, and will probably have to yield to Jose Molina on a regular basis.

Like the British at Singapore, the Yankees pointed all of their guns in the wrong direction this winter. They went heavy for pitching, but the offense needed an overhaul and the Minor League required needed some of its pitchers converted into position players. That didn’t happen, and as with last season, the Yankees are in the position of having a desperately wounded player (last year it was Posada and Matsui) try to overcome an injury because they just can’t compensate. Without an MVP-level Rodriguez, the offense is very likely to struggle to support the new starting rotation. Unless Cano, Jeter, and the rest rebound in big ways or stave off expected regressions, Teixeira won’t be enough if he hits .180, .280, or .380.

11 Comments

I think the AL East just got a lot more interesting! Not sure I would want my name to be Brian Cashman if the Yankees don’t win it all this season!

Julia
http://werbiefitz.mlblogs.com/

On the other hand, everything just might work out, Players might step up and perform….if one could imagine such a thing. I wouldn’t get so doomy and gloomy about the Yankees prospects this year. Oh yes but we all know how cynical New York fans can be so, being optimisic just doesn’t sell in this town. However I like to think it possible that Jeter, Damon and Matsui just might have one more good year in them and Swisher and Nady – while not being MVP types – just might be the kind of players that do the right thing at the right time (does not compute, you say?) and someone is going to play good baseball in centerfield and Cano might grow up and hit and maybe, just maybe 80% of the pitchers won’t be hurt for the majority of the season.
Yes I am be all wrong but either way I think there will be interesting baseball this year.

julia writes.. cashman/s job will be in jeprody if arod is out and the yanks don/t win.. really ? is a gm supposed to anticipate injuries? or illnesses.. lets talk sense.. any team can go down with major injuries.. not the gm/s fault..

sun city stew…

The sky is falling. the sky is falling.
Time for more panic–very funny.
The guy on the mound always did and always will determine if a team wins or not.
The yankee staff is solid.
The offense will be very good.
Boston has alot more questions then the yankees.
Tampa won alot of games–magically last year.
Breaks wont happen as often for them this year.
The yanks are the class team of baseball.
Writers love to write panic stories.
I dont think Rodriguiez will miss much time.
One last note if Teixeira hits like Lou Gehrig
yanks will win big.
Gehrig was better than Ted Williams-as determined by Joe McCarthy who seen both.
Please lets not think the yankees must have a perfect season to win. The other teams have more worries than the Yankees.

I am so relieved right now about A-Rod. Buster Olney just reported that A-Rod has a 75-80% chance of finishing the season as long is he could deal w/the inevitable pain. That is more than I could possibly have hoped for. And just in case, I heard the Yanks are looking at 3rd base options. PHEW! If A-Rod could play, we really dodged a major bullet!

So, we get to see just how much – & how well -Alex can play with pain this year. Best case scenario: he plays all year @MVP level to get Yanks into postseason, then has to miss the playoffs w/the bad hip, thus avoiding another 1-for-October performance.
Now if only Jorge & Matsui can stay healthy…..

He has too much to prove on the field to sit out. I can already see the headlines: A-Rod gets busted for steroids, mysteriously gets hurt and disappears. I’m willing to bet that A-Rod still plays the season. His ego / reputation won’t let him sit out if Puljols went through all of last season with one arm, and he had to sit out because he had an owie on his hip, fair or not.

Tex will do what Tex always does – 25 – 30 HR, .300 average, 100+ RBI and Runs. He’s pretty consistent – those numbers look sort of Matsui like when Matsui was younger and healthier.

Hey Steve – you sure are a negative guy. How can you possibly know what each player will or will not do for the Yankees. How can you say Damon should have a down year? How can you know that Nady and/or Swisher will not be lights out?
Give me a break!!!!!!!!!!

God, you make the Yankees lineup sound worse than my old little league lineup. Bottom line: I expect (but don’t gurantee) Posada, Matsui, Cano, Jeter, Damon, Nady, and Texeira all to do fine. I think Gardner/Melky will do very well too. If all the variables work the Yankees’ way, we’ll be fine w/or w/o A-Rod, and hopefully A-Rod can play fine anyway. If not-well, we have a good pitching staff, right?

By the way, I predict a Tex MVP year.

As a die-hard yankees fan born and bred in Singapore, I just want to appauld you for actually knowing that little fact bout the guns pointing the wrong way in our history. The place where the cannons are is called Fort Siloso and is now a boring tourist attraction of guns that never did fire when it matter. Here’s hoping CC and AJ do fire their guns.

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