Mark Teixeira hasn’t bunted since before his days in high school, but that didn’t stop him from talking about wanting to lay a few day this season in an effort to get teams to give up on the extreme shift they implement when he’s at the plate.
He has quickly backed off that stance though and instead has insisted that if he can just manage to hit a few more balls to the opposite field it will have the same effect. So far, he likes the changes he’s made to try to accomplish that.
“I still have (the bunt) in my back pocket if I need it,” Teixeira told Erik Boland of Newsday. “I worked on it in the offseason, I’ve worked on it in practice here in spring training. But for me, it was more important to prove to myself and to prove to other teams that if you’re going to pound me away, then I’m going to hit the ball the other way.”
“It’s very reassuring,” he said. “I’m not going to change the way I hit, I just want a few more hits the other way lefthanded. And if I can accomplish that, that’s going to help the team out.”
Teixeira’s overall numbers have declined each year since he joined the Yankees. A large part of that due to a .325 OBP and a .779 OPS against righties. Agaisnt lefties those numbers were .380 and .967. If he can hit the ball the other way more often than the thought is it would help bust the shift and bring those numbers against righties up a bit. If he’s successful doing that than he is primed for a big year.