In honor of Mark Teixeira's 31st bithday today, here are five nuggets to know about the slumping Yankees first baseman.
1-- Teixeira hit 275 home runs in his first eight major league seasons. That's the fifth-most for any player in the first eight seasons of his career, trailing Ralph Kiner (329), Albert Pujols (319), Eddie Mathews (299) and Adam Dunn (278). To stay in the top five through nine seasons, Teixeira needs to finish his ninth season (2011) with 298 or more home runs. That's how many Hank Aaron and Alex Rodriguez hit in their first nine seasons.
2-- Even with his current mini-funk, Teixeira still has a very good chance to end April with more home runs than he's ever had at the end of April in any season. His four are just two shy of his best, six, done in the 2005 season.
3-- For those that missed my colleague Katie Sharp's Yankeemetrics review on Friday, here's a great nugget:
Teixeira blasted four homers in the first five games, matching the franchise record for most homers in the first five games of the season, while his 10 RBI during those five games was just one shy of the record set by Mickey Mantle in 1956 and Alex Rodriguez in 2007.
4-- With the Orioles coming to town, it's worth noting that this team has multiple pitchers against whom Teixeira has an unimpressive (albeit limited) history. He won't see Jeremy Guthrie, against whom he's 1-for-18, but he could see Kevin Gregg (3-for-17), Koji Uehara (1-for-7) or Jim Johnson (0-for-6).
5- With regards to Teixeira's current struggles, early on he's having a rough go when he puts the ball into the field of play. Historically speaking 29 to 31 percent of balls put in play (not home runs, not strikeouts) go for base hits. Teixeira, through the beginning of 2011 has put 19 balls into play and has just two hits (a .105 BABIP).