John Munson/USA TODAY SportsYankees first baseman Mark Teixeira will miss at least the first month of the season.
Here’s a look at how his loss will impact the Yankees.
Team Power Outage
That means that eight of the Yankees’ top 10 home run hitters from last season won’t be with the team on Opening Day -- either because of injury or departure in free agency.
Teixeira, who tied for third on the team with 24 home runs last season, joins team leader Curtis Granderson on the Spring Training casualty list.
The Yankees’ streak of four straight seasons with more than 200 home runs, the longest active streak of its kind, may be in jeopardy.
This season could be the first time since 1995 that they allow more home runs than they hit.
He’s Earned his Pinstripes
Only three American League players -- Miguel Cabrera, Granderson and Jose Bautista -- have hit more homers than Teixeira since he joined the Yankees in 2009. And Cabrera is the only first baseman in that span with more Wins Above Replacement.
But is On the Decline
Teixeira has seen his OPS decline for five consecutive seasons, from a career-high .963 in 2007 (split between the Texas Rangers and Atlanta Braves) to a career-low .807 last season.
He’s struggled turning around the hard stuff inside (fastballs, cutters and sinkers).
He’s swinging at those pitches less frequently, suggesting he may realize he’s unable to do anything with them.
With injuries and free-agent departures, the Yankees starting lineup on Opening Day will include just three of the same nine players that started on Opening Day last season. And that assumes that shortstop Derek Jeter remains on pace to start the first game.
Balance of Power in AL East
The Yankees and Red Sox have played in the same league or division for 112 seasons and only TWICE have they finished last and next-to-last in the standings (in any order) in the same season. That has NEVER happened in the AL East (the divisional era began in 1969).
In 1966, the Red Sox were ninth (26.0 GB) and the Yankees were 10th (26.5 GB) in the 10-team American League.
In 1925, the Yankees were seventh (28.5 GB) and the Red Sox were eighth (49.5 GB) in the eight-team American League.