Tex batting 3rd, swinging for fences

May, 23, 2012
5/23/12
5:44
PM ET
With the Royals starting left-hander Will Smith on Wednesday, Joe Girardi has shifted Mark Texieira into the No. 3 spot in the order.

"Well, you look at what Mark has done as a right-handed hitter, he has been outstanding," Joe Girardi said. "He has done a lot of damage here the three years that we have had him so I just put him there."

This year, Teixeira is hitting .224 with two homers and six RBIs as a righty. As a lefty, he is at .231 with three homers and 14 RBIs. In his career, Teixiera is a .302 hitter as a righty and a .270 batter as lefty.

Since taking the weekend off to rest his persistent cough, Teixeira has batted seventh in the first two games back against righties. Teixeira has batted third three other times this season. Last year, he spent nearly the entire season batting third.

Teixeira plans on abandoning his all-fields approach. He would rather sacrifice his average to hit for more power and drive in more runs. He feels he has been putting too many balls in play and wasting at-bats by not driving the ball.

"That [stinks]," Teixeira said.

So it sounds as if he will be swinging for the fences, average be darned.

"Last year, 39 homers and a low average wasn't good enough," Teixeira said. "I think I'd rather hit 39 home runs than 20 or 15. I would rather drive in 111 runs than 80 so I'm going to be more aggressive."

Teixeira said his new approach, trying to beat the shift and use the whole field more, "hasn't worked."

As for right-handed starters, Girardi isn't ready to commit to Teixeira remaining in the seventh spot.

"We will make that decision Friday," Girardi said.

The guess here is yes, against righties Teixiera will be back batting seventh. Teixeira says it doesn't matter where he hits.

"I don't think that anyone's Hall of Fame plaque says where he hit in the order," Teixeira said.

That's probably true, but you know where Hank Aaron hit.

"I have no idea where Hank Aaron hit," Teixeira said.

Where would you think?

"Third or fourth," Teixeira said.
Andrew Marchand is a senior writer for ESPNNewYork. He also regularly contributes to SportsCenter, Baseball Tonight, ESPNews, ESPN New York 98.7 FM and ESPN Radio. He joined ESPN in 2007 after nine years at the New York Post. Follow Andrew on Twitter »

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TEAM LEADERS

BA LEADER
Jacoby Ellsbury
BA HR RBI R
.271 15 67 69
OTHER LEADERS
HRM. Teixeira 21
RBIJ. Ellsbury 67
RB. Gardner 81
OPSB. Gardner .759
WM. Tanaka 12
ERAH. Kuroda 3.81
SOM. Tanaka 135