Teixeira hopes to return to game action during first week of March

Johan Santana? Why not?
Thursday Night Open Thread

During a recent appearance on the YES Network (video link), Mark Teixeira laid out his rehab plan as he works his way back from season-ending wrist surgery. He’ll be performing strengthening exercises through the end of the month, start swinging a bat in January, start hitting 90+ mph pitches in February, then resume full workouts when Spring Training begins. He will be a bit behind the other position players in camp but hopes to get into his first Grapefruit League game during the first week of March.

“That first game, against Justin Verlander in Lakeland, he throws me a 95-mph fastball on the inside part of the plate, I want to drop the head (of the bat) on the ball. Even if I don’t get a hit or get a homerun off it, I want to know that I can make a really strong, quick move on an inside fastball at 95 mph, and have no pain, no tightness. Once I do that, then I’ll know that I’ll be fine for the season,” said Teixeira. The 33-year-old missed all but 15 games of this past season with wrist problems. Jose Bautista rebounded well from the same wrist surgery, which is a positive sign, but the Yankees need Teixeira to come back and have an impact in the middle of their lineup this season. The upgrade he represents over Lyle Overbay is significant but not guaranteed until he’s actually healthy and out on the field.

Johan Santana? Why not?
Thursday Night Open Thread
  • TheEvilUmpire

    First week of March? Ugh that don’t sound good if he’s anything like 2013 Jeter.

    • lightSABR

      Different guy, younger guy, different injury, recovery started earlier. If the 2013 Yankees’ curse continues, yeah, we’re hosed, but as yet, no reason to panic.

    • RetroRob

      One main difference is Jeter never had the chance to recover, build his legs up. Texeira has been rehabbing most of the season. He’ll be fine health wise. Biggest concern is how much this will impact his power.

  • Delbert Grady

    This is the biggest question of the offseason. I wince when I see Yankee fans pencil in Tex for a bounceback season as I have major doubts he can hit competently against RHP anymore & can stay healthy. If he can do both those things, the Yankees will be a juggernaut offensively. But he’s been declining since 2009 and I’d take Overbay over Tex against RHP right now. If he continues to struggle against righties, they need to get a platoon partner for him. You cannot have a below league average 1b against RHP which you face 2/3rds of the time or more in a stadium like YS. Especially when Girardi has shown a propensity to put blinders on and let him hit 3 or 4 based on the “back of his baseball card”.

    • lightSABR

      Well, here’s what the backs of Teix’s and Lyle’s baseball cards (or the modern equivalent, Fangraphs) have to say.

      2012 Mark Teixeira against righties: .239/.331/.438 (108 wRC+)
      2013 Lyle Overbay against righties: .258/.316/.430 (103 wRC+)

      Also, Teix is 33 and Overbay is 36, they’re pretty much a wash on defense, and the difference between the two against lefties (129 wRC+ vs. 35 wRC+) is immense.

      You’re right that we shouldn’t assume Teix is going to be a monster for us this year. But Overbay was a replacement-level player last year, and unless Teix spends the whole year injured, he’ll be a substantial upgrade.

      • RetroRob

        Correct. I am not expecting a bounce-back year for Teixeira in the sense that he’ll return to form from several years back. I’m expecting a bounce-back year from the 1B position. Overbay just wasn’t all that good.

  • Barry

    Something tells me Teixeira won’t disappoint us this year. He could really step in to a leader’s role with the bat, the glove, and in the dugout if we’re lucky. We need him desperately though; even with the diminished average he had shown before the nightmare of 2013 he still had near elite production.

  • The Great Gonzo

    Please Jesus, give me a legit Tex season

    • Reggie C.

      Considering the erosion in his offensive game, I would consider .255/.355/.485 a “legit Tex season”. Not what we fans were hoping for when Teixiera signed that behemoth contract, but its what I (& probably Mike A.) would take at this juncture.

      • lightSABR

        That’d be just a hair better than 2012, worth about 3 fWAR.

        Given that Overbay was worth 0 last year, I’ll take it.

      • RetroRob

        I will take that, and yes that is what I would be and was expecting on the back-end of his contract. The Yankees were expecting that, too. You can hope for more, but decline is understood. The organization needs to bring in new talent as the older free agents decline, and that is something the Yankees have always done up until the last couple of years. This offseason we have seen the return.

  • Baked McBride

    Beltran, Santana, next we’ll audition Fernando Tatis

  • Bob Buttons

    Beware the Ides of March!

    • http://www.twitter.com/thewallbreakers Scully

      No jinxes during the holiday season please :)!

  • trr

    glad to get an update as I haven’t heard anything recently about Tex.
    obviously, a productive year from him would be a real shot in the arm for the offense. keeping fingers crossed…

  • Brien Taylor

    Hey!!!! Remember me? Can I make a comeback when I get out of prison????

  • lou

    This team has an outfield but what’s going on with the infield?