Mark Teixeira needs to talk to Jobu or sacrifice a whole chicken or run a chicken bone cross up and down his bat. Anything to get his power back.
Tex went 0-5 last night (with zero walks) and since his three home run game in Boston, he’s had just 6 extra base hits (three doubles, three homers) and thus, his slugging percentage in that time frame is .351. His IsoP since that epic day in Fenway is .128.
Encouraging is the fact that Teixeira’s had 14 runs batted in during that 23 game span, but the power is still severely lacking. What can we use to explain this Gardner-esque power “output?” Let’s delve into the batted ball data and see what’s there.
Most eye catching is the .225 BABIP. Tex is having little luck/not hitting the ball as hard as he normally does. I say bad luck because we’ve seen a lot of balls hit hard land in the gloves of fielders (it happened last night) when Tex strikes them. I say he’s not hitting the ball as hard because, well, he’s not. His LD% is at a career low 18.4%. His IFFB% is also at 11.4, which would be the second highest of his career. His HR/FB is down to 11.4% as well, the lowest of his career by far. So, to sum up: he’s not hitting as many line drives as he usually does, his ground balls are not getting through, he’s popping balls up to the wrong guys, and he’s not driving the ball when it gets in the air.
Since I’m not a hitting coach, I’m really not sure what Tex could do. It looks as if he’s expanding his zone a lot, but the numbers don’t totally support that. His O-Swing% is at 21.9, which isn’t that far off of his career mark of 20.7. I think the real problem is his O-Contact%. It’s all the way up to 69.4%, a career high. While it’s worth noting that his O-Contact% has been rising each year from 2007 on, we could infer that the contact he’s making on these out-of-zone pitches is rather weak and that could be leading to a lack of powerful hits.
Like all of you, I’ve got complete confidence in Tex’s ability to recover. If it comes soon, while Nick Swisher and Robinson Cano are hot, the Yankee lineup could reach that unstoppable level we’re all almost used to.