Mark Texeira struggled mightily with the Yankees last season. He had his lowest average ever, and many pitchers had less stress going against his bat. It was no longer tough. A-Rod became an easier out. Tex might be on the decline, the forums say. But a lot of people overlooked a mistake Texeiera was making. A mistake he has been since fixing in the offseason to prepare for 2012: The defensive shift.
The same thing had happened to David Ortiz earlier. The shifts became more aligned to the outfield, and his batting average suffered. It wasn’t until recently when he started hitting the ball the opposite field or putting down a random bunt that he got the defense to play honest (sometimes) again.
He talks about how his approach to blasting homeruns on the short porch of the new Yankee Stadium wasn’t cutting it:
“It’s been a progressive thing,” he said Sunday. “You spend enough time at the Stadium with that porch, you lift a couple of fly balls out [over the wall] and you start thinking, ‘Wow, this is fun.’ ”
As the last two years have shown being in the smaller stadium, his averages have dipped:
- .292 (2009)
- .256 (2010)
- .248 (2011)
- Full stats on Tex career
This is what he had to say about the changes he will make for the Yankees this year:
“I always mess around with it, but it’s something you can’t work on without live pitching. I may lay down 20 bunts this spring.”
The mofo’ is going to BUNT his way on. Same as Ortiz. The results of these plays, especially with slow players, aren’t very successful. But if the opponents are going to put their SS at 2nd base and 3rd base in left-field, it is an automatic base hit, and a surrender by the defense back into their normal positions.
Promise you, he will be bunting, and probably spraying softies opposite field. Trust me, his average and his bat will become dangerous again. Unless he faces Jon Lester, who will own him in 2012. The last part was just contempt for the Yanks. Okay move along.
PS: I’m trading for him right now…