Throughout his career, Mark Teixeira has been known for his rather slow starts at the plate. This season was no different, as his bat was very sluggish to begin 2012. Through April, Teixeira was barely able to keep his batting average above .200. He finished the month with a BA of .244, and provided the Yankees with little power, only contributing three home runs and 12 RBIs.
As of May 21, Teixeira’s average had dropped down to a mere .227 and his offensive production for the bombers was non-existent. It was later discovered that Teixeira had been suffering from upper respiratory problems, which had been complicating his breathing and possibly affecting his swing as his slump continued through most of May. Breathing problems weren’t the only thing to nag at Teixeira either. All season long, opposing teams have terrorized Tex with defensive shifts that seemed to perfectly position players for nearly every ball he would make contact with, which in time can certainly take a mental toll on a batter.
He wasn’t the only one struggling up to this point however. The entire team, especially the offense, who failed at nearly every opportunity they had to bring runners in scoring position home. The Yankees were on a horrible slide that they desperately needed to get out of. They have as of late too, and as the club’s fortunes have turned around, winning five of their last six games, Teixeira has done the same as well.
During this six-game span, Teixeira is contributing plenty of offensive production for the club. He’s posted 11 hits in his last 21 at-bats, four of those hits resulting in home runs. An astounding ten RBIs in six games has also been greatly appreciated not only by the team, but by the starting pitchers, who have often lacked any run support in their outings. Teixeira’s recent hot streak has boosted his season BA up to a .263 total. His nine homers is good for the team’s second best, and his 30 RBIs ties him with Nick Swisher, leading the team in that critical statistic.
Perhaps Teixeira has found a way around the shift that has antagonized him to this point. Or maybe being healthy and back to 100% again has eased things at the plate for him. Either way, Tex certainly seems to be breathing much easier again with a newfound swagger when he steps into the batters box as of late. It’s definitely a welcome sign to Yankee nation to have one of their key sluggers in the lineup finally hitting his stride and they’ll look to keep riding this success through the rest of May and right on into June as well.