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Saturday, April 17, 2010
Taylor Teagarden: 'I'm not pressing.'

By Richard Durrett

NEW YORK -- Rangers catcher Taylor Teagarden said he isn't putting added pressure on himself to prove he's capable of starting every day. When Jarrod Saltalamacchia went out of the lineup with upper back stiffness just as the season began, Teagarden had an opportunity to seize the starting job. He's pleased manager Ron Washington with how he's called games and helped the starting pitching get off to a good start. But Teagarden knows he has to do more at the plate.

He's still looking for his first hit of the season, starting the year 0-for-16 with 11 strikeouts and two walks. Asked how he felt, Teagarden responded: "Not great."

"I'm working hard to get things turned around and get things going," Teagarden said.

Teagarden said he's focused on staying on his backside better to find a proper balance point. He said he's not getting the barrel of the bat through the hitting zone correctly and the balance issues affect his vision.

"Anytime you're off balance, you're eyes are moving," Teagarden said. "That can have an effect."

Teagarden said the lack of balance has also made his swing a little longer than he wants. So he's concentrating on getting his balance, which would make the swing more compact.

He's frustrated, but trying to make sure he "has a short memory."

"Every day is a new day," Teagarden said. "You have to come out with a positive frame of mind and confidence in what you're working on and play the game. You can't let the numbers clog your mind. I just have to focus on the task at hand."

Washington said he put Teagarden in the lineup Saturday instead of Sunday because he thinks his "eyes will be more wide open" than Matt Treanor. He said it wasn't to show confidence in Teagarden.

"I have confidence in Teagarden, so I don't have to put on a show of confidence," Washington said.

Treanor will start on Sunday.