Friday, March 29, 2013
First Pitch: Will Tex make a Mark this year?
By Wallace Matthews
TAMPA, Fla. -- Andrew Marchand and I thought we had a great idea at the start of spring training, setting the over/under on various goals for key Yankee players this season and inviting you all to chime in with your thoughts, estimates and general wisecracks.
Then, the Yankees clubhouse turned into a hospital ward and all our preseason guesses became inapplicable.
For eight of his first nine big-league seasons, Tex played a minimum of 145 games a season, and twice played all 162. Four other times, he played in at least 156.
Then came 2012, and a succession of illnesses and injuries cut his workload to 123 games, and lowered his production accordingly.
Originally, I was thinking of setting his O/U at 140 games for 2013. Then came the partially-torn wrist tendon sheath and a prognosis of 8-10 weeks on the shelf, which puts his return back to late May at the earliest, and more likely early June.
So that lops 52 games right off the top.
Of the remaining 110 or so -- recognizing, of course, that Tex could return earlier or later -- how many do you think he will play in?
I'll reset the new O/U to 100 games -- and take the over, if only because I think he will be determined to play in as many as humanly, or inhumanly, possible.
What say you: How many games does Mark Teixeira play in this year? Let us know, with your reasons, in the comments section.
UP NOW: A news story on the release of Juan Rivera and the apparent elevation of Lyle Overbay to the role of starting first baseman in place of Teixeira. Also, a column on Overbay's whirlwind week, and notes out of the post-game clubhouse following the Yankees 2-1 loss to the Pittsburgh Pirates in their Grapefruit League finale.
ON DECK: The Yankees play the Nationals in D.C. this afternoon at 2:05 p.m. Andy Pettitte makes the start and Mariano Rivera is scheduled to make a rare preseason road appearance. Andrew Marchand will be there to provide all the news and color the event warrants. I'm headed home for the weekend to gear up for Opening Day on Monday. Thanks for reading all spring and hope to hear from all of you throughout the regular season.