First Pitch: Is the shift in Teixeira's head?

February, 26, 2012
2/26/12
7:00
AM ET
Mark Teixeira came to camp 10 to 15 pounds lighter than he was last year. He told Andrew Marchand yesterday that he will close his batting stance when hitting left-handed this season. He's even talking about dropping a bunt or two down the third base line.

It all adds up to just one conclusion: Those sneaky shifters have won.

They have invaded Tex's consciousness, altered his hitting approach, even affected his diet. He's juicing -- fresh fruit and vegetable juices, that is -- eating all natural foods, doing everything he can think of to outwit that pesky second baseman masquerading as a short right-fielder.

Is this really the way for a guy who has averaged 36 HRs and 110 RBIs a year for the past nine seasons to go about his business?

"You’d like to see him use the whole field a little bit more and part of that may be through bunting,'' Joe Girardi said. "So I’m all for it. I’m all for the adjustments he’s trying to make. Because I think that as a player you have to make adjustments because people adjust to you.''

Teixeira whacked 39 HRs last season and drove in 111 runs, so it wasn't all bad. But that career-low .248 batting average (.224 as a lefty) is clearly eating at him.

The question is, should it be? Can you live with a guy who produces power numbers like that but only hits .250? Or would you like to see Big Tex drop a bunt every now and then?

ON-DECK CIRCLE: After a week of yeoman work, Marchand returned to New York last night, so I will be manning the clubhouse solo when it opens at 9:10 a.m. this morning. He took the flip cam with him but I will be filling the blog all day, so poke your head in every so often.

QUESTION OF THE DAY (Non-Tex related): Which Yankees lineup do you like better: Cano 3rd, A-Rod fourth? Or the other way around?
Wallace Matthews has covered New York sports since 1983 as a reporter, columnist, radio host and TV commentator. He covers the Yankees for ESPNNewYork.com after working for Newsday, the New York Post, the New York Sun and ESPN New York 98.7 FM.
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TEAM LEADERS

BA LEADER
Jacoby Ellsbury
BA HR RBI R
.271 16 70 71
OTHER LEADERS
HRB. McCann 23
RBIB. McCann 75
RB. Gardner 87
OPSB. Gardner .749
WM. Tanaka 13
ERAH. Kuroda 3.71
SOH. Kuroda 146