Mark Teixeira‘s 2009 season couldn’t have gone much better. He finished second for the MVP, won a Gold Glove, and outside of a slow start and a poor offseason he was practically perfect.
Having done all of that expectations were going to be pretty high in 2010 which is why he perhaps didn’t live up to them.
People had come to expect a slow start from them and he didn’t disapoint. His batting average in April was .136 with a .559 OPS. He rebounded in May by hitting .280 with an .840 OPS. Still his OPS had fallen from .948 the year before.
The best part of Teixeira’s season was a 55 game stretch from July 1 to September 3 where he hit .324 with a 1.079 OPS, 18 doubles, and 17 RBI’s. During that stretch the Yankees dominated going 36-19.
Unfortunately that didn’t quite last long enough. Thumb and toe injuries bothered Teixeira during the final month of the season and Teixeira’s offense took a nose dive. During his final 26 games he hit just .194 with three doubles, three home runs, and a .641 OPS. The Yankees were 9-17 during that stretch.
So it seemed that as Teixeira went, so went the Yankees and nothing proved that more than during the playoffs. Before the ALDS he got a few days off and looked rejuvinated. The Yankees swept the series against the Twins while he hit .308 with a double, home run, and a .973 OPS.
The Yankees got even more time off before the ALCS which should have been good time for him to rest, but his injuries caught up to him. He went 0-for the first four games before pulling a hamstring which caused the Yankees to remove him from the roster. If they had advanced to the World Series he would have been ineligible.
Overall the season was a slight disappointment considering the year he was coming off, his place in the lineup, and the money he makes. His doubles, home runs, RBI’s, batting average, OBP, and OPS were all down and his strikeouts were up. He was also almost totally useless during the months of April and September.
It should be said that his defense was consistent throughout the entire season. He earned his second Gold Glove in as many years with the Yankees. The Yankees also set a club record for fewest home runs in team history and he was a big part of that not only by providing strong defense himself, but saving the butts of his fellow infielders.
There is no reason though to think that he can’t rebound in 2011. Health will be an important part in that and he’s got to figure out a way to contribute in April as well. It’s just hard to think that somebody this good is so pathetic for the first month of the season.
His poor playoff performances are probably a fluky thing too. Last season probably comes down to sample size and bad luck. This season he did have a good ALDS, but injuries caught up to him in the ALCS.
So while 2010 has to be looked at as somewhat of a disappointing season there is no reason to think that 2011 has to be as well.