Jul
08

The curiously slumping Mark Teixeira

By

It seems like every time Mark Teixeira steps up to the plate someone mentions — whether on Twitter or on the broadcast — that he hasn’t hit a home run in X at bats. That number reached 107 plate appearances last night. While home runs are nice, they’re not the only thing a player can do to help his team. Problem is, the home run drought has masked a 107 plate appearance slump for Teixeira.

Tex’s season numbers still look good: .281/.387/.548. But over his last 104 plate appearances he’s been at .258/.365/.326, recording just six extra base hits, all doubles, over that span. It’s not as bad as his early-season woes, but for a guy with Teixeira’s numbers and ability it certainly represents a slump.

When Teixeira slumped through April and the beginning of May, then subsequently surged though the rest of the month, commentators claimed in hindsight that Teixeira was seeing more fastballs with A-Rod back in the lineup. Of course, that’s just made up. Teixeira did not see more fastballs upon A-Rod’s return. He actually saw a few more fastballs in April, while he was slumping. The media can’t blame A-Rod for Tex’s troubles this time around. The cleanup hitter sports a .270/.453/.556 line since Teixeira’s last home run.

Now that we’re aware of Tex’s slump beyond the home run drought, what happens? Nothing, likely. Joe Girardi isn’t going to switch A-Rod and Teixeira in the order, and he’s made that abundantly clear with his actions. The Yankees are 12-8 since his last homer, which is an excellent pace (about 97 wins if extrapolated). They’ll continue to play through it, hoping that he goes on another .360/.441/.824 run like he did from May 7 through the date of his last home run, June 12. He did, after all, hit .366/.464/.656 in the second half last year.

It is kind of curious, though, that Tex’s slump coincides with his power outage. Even in his 122 plate appearance slump to start the year he managed five homers and four doubles for a .384 SLG — against a .192 BA, leaving him with a .192 Iso-P, while in his latest slump his Iso-P is just .068. One has to wonder if there’s something else going on, but without anything to go on, all we can do is call this what it is — a slump.

Categories : Offense
  • Joe R

    Lately he’s either been just missing with his HR’s and having WTP or hitting the ball hard, but right at people. Hopefully that means he’ll be comming around soon.

  • Evan NYC

    I don’t see anything wrong with him physically. Maybe he just isn’t getting the good wood on the bat. HRs are like bananas, they come in bunches.

  • RAB poster

    There is nothing to worry about. He will get hot again and then we’ll laugh about how dumb it is to be worried like last time.

  • http://www.conservationvaluenotes.com Jon G

    I remember in an interview with him last year, I think, he was talking about how his home runs come in streaks… Now I’m seeing exactly what he’s talking about. The good news is that his bat seems to be waking up again, and with it we’ll hopefully see another stretch of bombs…

  • Chip

    Anybody know if there’s been a fluctuation in his FB or LD rates? And yes, I’m too lazy to look it up

    • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

      Yes, I know, but I’m too lazy to tell you.

      • A.D.

        ietc

    • Thomas

      Month LD% FB% HR/FB%
      April 11.9 57.6 8.8
      May 17.4 43.5 32.5
      June 16.9 37.3 12.9
      July 26.9 36.4 0

      It looks like he should get hot again. His LD% is very high as well as his BABIP this month, while his K% is low. He just has not been hitting as many FB/HRs.

      • Mister Delaware

        Anyone else pretty excited for Hit f/x data to become more readily available and we’ll be able to breakout hit types even further. No more softy “LDs” to the IF being mixed in rockets into the gap

  • JGS

    seems to be only affecting him lefty–he is batting .366 hitting right handed this season (April included) and has hit 20% of his home runs (4 of 20) righty, despite 146 fewer at bats. the .387 OBP means he is helping out even if he isn’t knocking the ball out of the yard. yea, he’s slumping, but just wait for him to go on a tear again

    • Joe R

      Alot of teams are starting to Giambi shift him from the left side as well.

      • King of Fruitless Hypotheticals

        i saw how severe that shift was the other day…seems like he should be able to just poke-bunt that into left field with the 3B playing where the SS normally plays…i know there’s no homer that way, but is a single that bad?

  • http://www.puristbleedspinstripes.com Rebecca-Optimist Prime

    Eh. He had four hits last night. I’m not too worried yet. Especially now that A-Rod is hitting again.

    • RAB poster

      Agreed.

  • A.D.

    Nice for the team to be winning without firing on all cylinders

  • Little Bill

    Players go through ups and downs. That’s variance. That’s baseball. Nothing to be worried about.

  • A.D.

    If he was hurting with some wrist issue or something I’m sure it would have been brought up.

  • bonestock94

    I’m not worried, but I would like to see some bombs.

  • Billy

    maybe his 4-hit game last night will get him going

  • Mister Delaware

    Is it really that curious that the slump and power outage are coming at the same time? Isn’t it more likely that his AVG and SLG are down because of a lack of XBH (and thus H) which means the power outage is directly causing the slump? I know this is cheating a bit, but turn 3 balls he may have “just missed” over those 104 PAs to HRs and his line jumps to .292/.394/.461. No slump.

    (His LD% is low for the year. 16.7% according to BR.)

  • MG

    this is such a non-issue. Ryan Howard broke a similar ‘slump’ last night, it’s just the ebb and flow of a power hitter. Meanwhile, he still is getting some hits, plays great defense, and hustles hit butt off on the bases. He’ll probably have a 10 game stretch where he hits another 6-7 HR’s and carry the team, that’s just the way it goes.

    • Evan NYC

      His numbers will be there at the end of the season. I just hope when he DOES start hitting HRs, it’s when we need them. We have won 11 out of the last 13 without a Tex bomb. That’s a great feeling, no?

  • ChrisS

    .824 [SLG]

    Wow, that’s amazing. Makes you amazed at Bonds’s .812 over 147 games and 612 PAs as a 39 year old even more abnormal incredible.

    • Say Hey Willie

      It was incredible. What I found most incredible is that a man whose head swelled as much as Bonds was able to play in 147 games without neck problems. I am not talking about ego, I am talking about the physical size of his head.

      http://www.slate.com/id/2178288/

  • http://bronxbaseballdaily.com Matt ACTY/BBD

    I’m a little worried, but only because the hits aren’t falling and the XBH aren’t coming either. Since the game after he hit his last homer, Tex is hitting:

    .258/.365/.326 with only 6 doubles. I’m glad the walks are still coming but I’d like a little power back, plz.

    • Mister Delaware

      XBH are H. Lack of H is solved when the lack of XBH is solved. They’re not independent at all.

  • yanks99

    Why don’t you ever see players who are switch hitters and slumping from one side of the plate turn around and just try to bat the other way the whole time? I’m not sure if this is Tex’s case, but I’m just saying in general you never see it and it couldn’t hurt if your playing badly.

    • http://bronxbaseballdaily.com Matt ACTY/BBD

      Experimenting with something like that doesn’t seem like a good way to help bust out of a slump. I’d imagine it’d be incredibly uncomfortable for the batter, too. I mean, if I’ve seen lefties from the right side from the time I was 7, I don’t think I’d want to jump over to the other side.

  • Salty Buggah

    Whoa Whoa Whoa…I thought all the problems in the world, including Tex’s power outage, were A-rod’s fault.

  • AndrewYF

    The Blue Jays just flat-out released BJ Ryan.

    • Say Hey Willie

      I advocate the Yankees signing Ryan for the pen. He has a strong track record of recent success and I recall him being pretty durable. Besides in a couple of weeks the team can package him with IPK and Melky in a trade for Halladay.

    • JohnnyC

      Throwing in the mid-80′s will do that to you.

    • Drew

      yes and very tempting.

      • Mister Delaware

        According to fangraphs, he hasn’t broken 90 mph *with a single pitch* this season. And his change is less than 2 mph below his fastball so either he’s a total wreck or his fastball is now so bad that the trackers can’t properly classify him. No need to try and let him work things out or reinvent himself in games that actually matter.

        http://www.fangraphs.com/pitch.....8;pitch=FA

        • http://phabfour.blogspot.com/ Double-J

          If we signed Ryan, he’d have to stay in the majors or be released by us, correct?

    • Salty Buggah

      Hmmm, I think someone is going to get a talkin from RAB…

      • Colombo

        I agree…I was thinking the exact same thing after I read this…it’s just way too off topic to go unnoticed…

        • Thomas

          I’d guess the article will be on how the Yankees went hard after Ryan, but Ryan wanted to close and signed with the Jays. Then, it will discuss the fallout: how Ryan was good but often injured and how the Yanks signed Farnsworth to setup for Rivera. Then they will probably talk about how we don’t want to sign Ryan this year, except for a minor league deal.

          • Salty Buggah

            That’s not what I meant…

          • http://www.riveraveblues.com Joseph Pawlikowski

            That’s actually a really good idea for an article.

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Joseph Pawlikowski

      Please, Andrew, on topic.

  • MattG

    I’ve been watching a lot of baseball, and I do not recall any warning track drives, or diving stabs at sure doubles. Maybe I just forgot them, but I think he is suffering through a genuine power outage.

    He’s also breaking a lot of bats. I am going to watch more closely tonight. I think he may be vulnerable inside right now, for whatever reason.

    • Evan NYC

      But it’s important to note that our #3 hitter is not getting extra base hits but we are still winning a lot of ball games. That’s a good feeling.

      • JobaWockeeZ

        Yes and imagine when Teix and A-Rod play the level they are supposed to at the same time. When Teix was hot A-Rod slumped and now A-Rod is hot Teix is slumping. However we still win ballgames and series. Can’t imagine when those two are on a hot streak.

        • jsbrendog

          in all honesty I’d almost rather have them pull the opposite tears/slumps all year and synchronize watches sometime late september. i mean, its what, 13 out of 16 since tex hit a hr? or whatever. but if one of them is carrying the team and we’re winning, I’d love to have a opposite tear/slump streak….

    • Salty Buggah

      I think he may be vulnerable inside right now

      So, are you calling him a woman? ;)

      • Drew

        ietc

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Joseph Pawlikowski

      Last night he hit a liner to the warning track.

  • Tank Foster

    John Sterling says he’s just been off the mark a little.

    Anyone else think John Sterling sounds a little like a horse at the beginning of his homerun call: “nnnnnnneighmmIT IS HIGH, nnnnnnneighmm IT IS FAR, IT…IS….GONE!!!

    Mr. Ed comes to mind.

    • JohnnyC

      He’s doing an impression of Reginald Van Gleason. Never mind. You’re probably too young to remember.

      • Tank Foster

        I’m 44. Is that too young?

        • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

          Tank Foster, what’s he, like 44?

          I could hit him…

  • Mike HC

    Is it just me or does it seem like Teix has been inches away from breaking his arm like every other game. Whether it is catching balls with his arm in the baseline or sliding into home with his left arm flung out, he has had some close calls.

  • MikeD

    The key numbers are: .281/.387/.548. That’s probably what I’d expect from him at the midway point, and overall I’d project him at. 280-.300, 35-45 HRs, and an OBP somewhere around .400 for the season. He’s right on target.

    As we all know, hitters final numbers are not an even line and are comprised of hitting streaks, slumps, and a bunch of somewhere in between. What has been surprising is we’ve seen the highs and the lows, but we haven’t seen much of the “in between.” That’ll change, but I think the A-Rod impact has been a bit overrated. If not, we should have seen Tex mashing for the last couple of weeks now that A-Rod has been hitting again.

  • Mark B

    I’m hoping this mini slump makes Tex bow out of the home run derby….we don’t need his swing screwed up like many of the past champions have been in recent years post-derby

    • Salty Buggah

      He already said no

      • Evan NYC

        I hope Jeter and Tex play 1 inning in the AS game and that’s it. I would rather them not play at all and get the rest.

        • jsbrendog

          agreed. this is why i always said who cares and no when ppl posted about voting. ZOMG VOTE SO THEY CAN MISS OUT ON REST AND RECUPERATION TIME!

          • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

            But jsb, this time… it counts!

  • gio

    Something I wasn’t aware of when we signed him: Tex is a natural dead-pull hitter, very similar to Giambi. And recently, his ‘power outage’ has seemingly made him extra pull-happy. He’s trying to pull balls that he should simply slap the other way, turning potential doubles in the opposite field gaps into weak ground balls or strikeouts. Not sure if the coaching staff has notices it, but I think becoming less pull-conscious would to him a ton of good to get him out of his mini-funk.

  • Eric S

    I realize this thread is old news…but seems to me that Tex could use a bit of a breather. Especially given that he has to go to St. Louis and play in the ASG, maybe Girardi should sit him a couple of games leading up to the break, get Swish or Damon or whomever some reps at 1B, and hope he freshens up for the 2nd half. Thoughts? Anyone? Bueller…?

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