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Healthy Teixeira would be huge boost for Yankees

After injury-plagued year in 2013, New York hoping first baseman can recover
03/10/2014 11:35 AM ET
By Doug Williams

Background: Mark Teixeira is a 33-year-old first baseman on the New York Yankees. He was signed by the Yankees before the 2009 season to an 8-year, $180 million deal. Teixeira is a two-time All-Star and five-time Gold Glove Award winner, and has 341 career home runs and a .278 lifetime average.

2013 Season: Teixeira only played 15 games in 2013 due to a wrist injury that later required surgery. In those games he drove in 12 runs but hit just .151, and his lack of bat speed eventually forced him to get the injury taken care of.

Greatest Strength: When Teixeira is healthy, he is one of the best RBI guys in the majors. His 162-game average is 119, which is obviously impressive. During his career, he has played 150+ games six times. In those seasons, he has hit 33 or more home runs and driven in over 105 runs. Oh, and Teixeira also has one of the most steady gloves at first base in the Major Leagues.

Greatest Weakness: Teixeira's biggest weakness right now is the question mark regarding his health. The problem with wrist injuries is the uncertainty when it comes to bat speed. If all goes well, his swing will 100% return to normal. It's possible, however, that his wrist will never truly be the same and he will have to adjust.

Prediction: The Yankees will depend on Mark Teixeira more this season than ever before. While the Yankees have brought in a lot of pieces, Teixeira is still the only guy in the lineup who would be a legitimate cleanup hitter. The Yanks need him to play his usual defense while also contributing his usual amount in the home run and RBI columns. Unless something changes, there's no reason to think that won't happen.

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