Mark Teixeira has been put on the disabled list again for his injured wrist, and Yankees fans everywhere are forced to ask themselves, “is this for the best?” Since his return this month, he racked up merely three homeruns and twelve RBIs while batting a meager .151. With such an incredibly low batting average, even for the notoriously slow starter, he was amazingly kept in the number three spot in the lineup. What exactly were manager Joe Girardi and general manager Brian Cashman thinking? Perhaps maybe he would heat up quickly, providing the team the much needed run support they’ve needed this season? In any other league, be it the minors, college, or high school, a player with such a low batting average would be batting eighth or ninth. The third spot in the lineup is reserved for the best hitter on the team, whomever that may be at the time. And Teixeira has clearly not been the best hitter in the lineup over the past fifteen games.
Some may argue that Teixeira, being the gold glove first baseman that he is, deserves the first base position. Is it really worth it to have him not only in the lineup, but batting third with a .151 batting average? Overbay is batting .240 right now. Not great by any means, but a lot better than Teixeira. I think that a gold glove first baseman can be sacrificed for the better hitter at a point in time when the team is struggling for runs like it is.
Others might say that his injured wrist may have been bothering him in the games that he’s played and it has just now gotten severe enough for him to be taken out altogether. If this is the case, then Girardi should have had sense enough to move the player to the bottom of the lineup if a previous wrist injury was affecting his at-bats. Maybe Teixeira didn’t say anything about his wrist until now? With pitchers being taken out of the relief spot for a hangnail, I find this extremely hard to believe. Players tell their coaches and doctor everything these days and with so much money being put into these players, teams aren’t taking these types of risks. I don’t understand why a coach wouldn’t at least move a struggling batter lower in the lineup in order to relieve some pressure from him and let him focus on his plate appearances a little more. This leads me to a sad but true explanation and it can’t be found on the field, only in the payroll.
The Yankees have been infamous in recent years for giving big name players long-term deals. And with so much money tied up in these players, it almost seems like the team is afraid to admit any mistakes they make with these deals. Instead, they force themselves to commit to a specific lineup. The Yankees aren’t the only organization that does this, but it’s so incredibly easy to see in this example. Players are going to take the most money they can get and no one can disagree with those decisions. But in a day and age where instances of player’s contracts being the deciding factor of batting lineups, maybe there needs to be a change in leadership for the better of the sport.