Teixeira will undergo season-ending wrist surgery.
Yankees first baseman Mark Teixeira will undergo season-ending surgery on his right wrist next week. Wrist issues have kept Teixeira sidelined for all but 15 games of the 2013 season and now it looks like he will not be returning this year at all.
Teixeira batted just .159 in the 15 games he played when he came back, but also had 3 home runs and 12 RBIs in that relatively short span. Teixeira could have been a power bat in the Yankees lackluster lineup, an offense that could use runs any way that they could get them. It’s obvious that the season is now a lost one for Teixeira, but is it a lost one for the Yankees?
The Yankees are 42-35 and currently tied for first in a very tight American League East. The Yankees have held the season together through decent pitching, but are not performing well enough at the plate to keep up with the pack. The club ranks 22nd in the MLB with 302 runs scored in 77 games and 25th in the MLB with a team batting average of .240.
Last season, the Yanks ranked 1st in the majors in home runs and second in runs scored. This season the team ranks just 15th in home runs, which is a dramatic drop. While it’s not good for a team to rely on home runs, the Yankees would truly be better off this way. The 15 to 20 home runs they likely would have gotten from Teixeira for the rest of the season could have definitely contributed to helping the team win.
The Yanks will have to continue playing 36-year-old veteran Lyle Overbay at first base, a player who was expected to lose a majority of his playing time with the team upon Teixeira’s arrival. Overbay is batting just .239 through 68 games, but has managed to hit 9 home runs.
The team is batting just .223 in June, and is almost completely relying on the bats of Robinson Cano, Brett Gardner, and Ichiro Suzuki. They certainly aren’t getting the help from Travis Hafner, Vernon Wells and David Adams, who are all hitting under .200 during the month of June.
The outlook is not good for the Yankees, who aren’t going to see their injured stars Curtis Granderson, Derek Jeter or Kevin Youkilis any time soon. The team will have to rely on its pitching to have any chance of making the playoffs this season.
Despite ranking 11th in pitching with a 3.78 ERA, team pitching has been breaking down during the month of June.
The last hope the Yankees seem to have on the hill is Michael Pineda. Pineda is recovering from a labral tear but is pitching very well in the minors for Double-A Trenton. He should push either Phil Hughes or David Phelps out of the rotation once he returns to action.
Unfortunately, relying on the return of a 24-year-old starter is likely not enough. The Yankees are still plagued with injuries and have a while to wait until their lineup looks somewhat like it did last season. Until then, the team will have to try and keep up with the other four teams in the division, who all rank in the top 10 for scoring.
If the Yankees expect to stay relevant, they have to win now and losing Teixeira will only make the job that much harder.