Things grew from bad to worse, as a few days off turned into a 15-day DL stint, leaving Yankee fans to fear the worst.
Well, the worst is here: surgery.
Season-ending surgery to be precise, the Yankees announced in a statement on June 26. A tear to the tendon sheath in Teixeira's right wrist has terminated a season that hardly ever got started.
Tex was never going to be at full force, making surgery the proper call, as Teixeira's small sample size this season has shown: 8 for 53 (.151) in 15 games played. But this does not make the absence of Mark Teixeira in this debilitated Yankee lineup any less devastating.
Can the Yankees, who've taken injury blow after blow this season, remain standing after this most recent haymaker?
Well, we can't predict the future. But what we can consider is the present. And presently, the Yanks are facing quite the dilemma.
Here are three ways the loss of Mark Teixeira will impact the New York Yankees:
1. Lyle Overbay
No longer the commendable fill-in, Overbay is now the guy at first base for the Yankees. The pressure will mount for him to keep up his surprising stats: .236 BA, 9 HR, 34 RBI.
Only problem is, it appears Lyle is on his way back down to earth. In the month of June, Overbay is 11 for 55 (.200), with only one home run and five RBIs.
He's also going to have to figure out how to hit lefties. Overbay is hitting .258 versus right-handed pitching, but a lowly .186 against left-handers.
Overbay is no Teixeira. Never has been, never will be. And the last full season he played was three years ago in 2010.
In any other normal season, anything Overbay did with the bat would just be icing on the cake. But this Yankee season has been anything but normal, and Overbay will now be expected to produce.
2. Power Outage
No matter what you want to say about Teixeira's dwindling ability to hit for average, his ability to hit for power has never been questioned. He's averaged nearly 34 home runs a year over his first four seasons as a Yankee.
That's 34 home runs the Yankees won't be getting this year.
And in a season where you can't even reference them as the "Bronx Bombers", the Yankees are truly going to miss Teixeira's power. The Yankees only home run hitter on the roster right now is Robinson Cano, and he only has 16.
The Yankees have hit just 80 home runs collectively, ranking them 11th out of 15 teams in the American League.
3. Imbalanced Lineup
Without Teixeira's switch-hitting bat, the Yankees lineup has become highly imbalanced, especially against right-handed starters.
On June 26th against the Texas Rangers, the Yankees first five hitters in their lineup were all left-handed. And when it came time to take out his right-handed starter, Yu Darvish, in the bottom of the sixth, Ron Washington had a manager's dream scenario.
All he had to do was bring in a lefty and the rest took care of itself. Lefty reliever Neal Cotts came in and retired all five left-handed batters he faced, including strikeouts of Gardner, Ichiro, Cano, and Overbay.
Without Teixeira, Yankee fans can expect to see more of this late-inning disappointment.
Mark, you will be sorely missed.
Tobias Rosen is from northeast Pennsylvania. He has been an avid Yankees follower his entire life. He is the creator of the recently launched sports blog Not Quite Grantland.
- Sports & Recreation
- Mark Teixeira
- New York Yankees
- Lyle Overbay