Tagged: Texas Rangers

Mark Teixeira announced that he will retire at the end of this season when his contract ends

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Mark Teixeira – ESPN

Mark Teixeira announced today that he will retire at the end of the season. The 36-year-old first baseman is in the last year of his 8-year, $180 million contract that he signed with the Yankees before the 2009 season.

He was a big part of the Yankees winning their 27th World Series, in 2009, and he was second in the MVP voting that season. Teixeira was the best offensive player on the Yankees that season. In six of his eight years with the Yankees he had an OPS over .800. He won the Silver Slugger award in 2004, 2005 and 2009 in addition to being the AL home run leader (39) and RBI leader (122) in 2009.

He made the All-Star team for the final time last season, which was his third All-Star selection of his career. He was also an All-Star in 2005 and 2009 as well. Teixeira’s best season statistically came in 2005 with the Rangers, which was his third season in the league, when he had a .301 average with 41 doubles, 43 homers, 144 RBI and a .575 slugging percentage.

In his career up through August 4, he has a .269 average with 400 doubles, 1,836 hits, 404 homers, 1,281 RBIs and a .511 slugging percentage. He would have had many more homers and RBIs, but he played in only 15 games in 2013 due to a strained wrist tendon.

Also, in 2014 he played in 123 games but his production was limited to only a .216 average and 62 RBIs because he injured his hamstring while trying to catch a foul ball in April. He also aggravated his wrist, that was surgically repaired in 2013, on May 31. He was an All-Star in 2015 as he had 31 homers and 79 RBIs in only 111 games due to a deep bone bruise in his leg after fouling a ball off of his leg on August 17.

He realized that after this season is the right time for him to retire but wants to do all he can to help the Yankees make the playoffs in his final season. They are 5.5 games out of a wild card spot with three teams ahead of them.

“Every kid playing little league, you dream of being a major league baseball player,” Teixeira said in his press conference on Friday. “After this season I will retire and do something else. I got to live out my dream and have more success than I could ever imagine. I want to finish this season on a high note and the team wants to finish the season on a high note.”

“I want to thank all of the Yankee fans, the greatest fans in the world,” Teixeira said. “I gave you everything I had. It wasn’t always enough, but I tried my best. I am proud to have a World Series ring with the Yankees.”

Teixeira is one of five switch hitters in MLB history with at least 400 homers, and he also has five Gold Gloves. He won an American League Gold Glove in 2005, 2006, 2009, 2010 and 2012. Even though his offense has declined the last four seasons due to injury, he has continued to be an elite defensive first baseman. He saved Yankees shortstops and third basemen from having many errors in the last few years due to his ability to catch the short-hop and other wild throws.

Teixeira played for the Texas Rangers, Atlanta Braves, Los Angeles Angels and Yankees in his career. Even though he became one of only five switch hitters to slug 400 homers this season, has hit 25 or more homers nine times and his eight seasons with 100 or more RBIs, he will likely be a little short of a Hall of Fame career. He might have been able to make it if he didn’t have his significant injuries and if he had been able to be productive for a season or two more.

Also, from his second season until his sixth season his average was never below .281, but from 2010 through 2015 his average was never above .256 (he has a .198 average this season and his average was .216 in 2014).

However, Teixeira has been one of the best first basemen of his generation and truly was an elite two-way player for most of his career. He impressively became one of the most reliable defensive first baseman in the league, starting in 2005 when he won his first Gold Glove, after not playing the position until spring training of his rookie season in 2003. That was when the Rangers had him moved from third base to first.

He finished fifth in Rookie of the Year voting in 2003 with his 26 homers and 84 RBI. Other highlights from his career include finishing seventh in the MVP voting in 2005 and hitting a walk-off homer to beat the Twins in Game 2 of the ALDS in 2009.

The Yankees have a .500 record before their game against the Indians tonight, which gives them a .500 record for a major league high 15th time.

The Yankees used an 11-run second inning to rout the Texas Rangers 21-5

Chris Young.

Chris Young.

The Yankees routed the Texas Rangers 21-5 at Globe Life Park on Tuesday for their fourth win in a row and eighth win in their last nine games. Yankees starter Chris Capuano allowed five run in the first inning and then the Yankees went onto score 21 unanswered runs. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, the Yankees are the first team to score 21 unanswered runs after allowing five or more runs.

The Yankees scored 11 runs in the second inning and then four runs in the third to essentially put the game away. Even more rare is that Capuano allowed three hits, five walks and five runs while getting two outs (it took 29 minutes) in the first and then the Yankees didn’t allow a hit the rest of the game.

“I don’t know if I have been a part of that where you give up five runs in the first and then don’t give up another hit the rest of the game,” Joe Girardi said.

The Yankees were led by Chris Young who was 3-6 and drove in a career-high five runs, which included a grand slam in the third inning to left field that drove in Mark Teixeira, Alex Rodriguez and Brett Gardner. Young also hit a double to left in the sixth to score Gardner to make the score 17-5.

“It was fun,” Young said. “To be able to come back in the second inning after being behind. You feel like whoever is at the plate will get the job done. If you have runners on base all the time and get hits you are going to get rewarded for it.”

The Yankees had 19 hits, 10 walks and six different Yankees had multiple RBIs. In the second inning, Chase Headley hit two RBI singles, Brendan Ryan hit one double that could have been a double play that turned into two RBIs and another RBI double, Didi Gregorius hit a triple that scored Rodriguez, Young and Headley and Jacoby Ellsbury, Gardner and Rodriguez all hit RBI singles.

Young’s 12th homer of the season made it 15-5 in the third and then in the fourth inning Young grounded into a fielder’s choice to score Gardner. Young is one of six Yankees with double digit homers. After Young’s RBI double in the sixth, John Ryan Murphy hit a single to score Young and Garrett Jones to become the eighth Yankee to drive in a run.

For the Yankees final runs of the game, Gardner hit a two-run homer in the ninth inning off of infielder Adam Rosales, who was pitching for the second time this season.

“They are feeling confident and they feel good at the plate,” Girardi said. “We had a lot of good at-bats.”

Equally as important as the offense was the Diego Moreno, who was called-up earlier in the day from Triple-A Scranton, came on in relief of Capuano to pitch 5.1 innings while striking out five, not allowing a hit and only throwing 70 pitches. He was able to save Girardi from having to use many relievers and proved to be more valuable than Capuano for the major league roster.

“His changeup was outstanding and his slider was outstanding,” Girardi said. “He went 5.1 innings and only threw 70 pitches. That is impressive.”

Adam Warren did not allow a hit in his three innings after Moreno came out of the game. According to Elias, it was the first time that the Yankees bullpen had ever thrown seven or more hitless innings in a game.

“I was super happy about the opportunity given to me today,” Moreno said through a translator. “I was happy to contribute to the win. I was relaxing and just trying to concentrate and throw strikes. As soon as the phone rang I knew I was getting called in. I am extremely happy (about the win) and my family is also.”

Gregorius has really gotten better at the plate during the last week. On July 22 he had a .234 average and he now has a .257 average. After his 4-5 game on Tuesday he is hitting .600 in his last five games with 10 RBIs and he has a and a solid .297 average (52-175) in 51 games since May 29.

He has really improved offensively and defensively since the beginning of the season and appears to be a very capable starting shortstop. He has also added a hitter at the bottom of the lineup who has been getting on base and driving in runs, which makes the batting order that much deeper.

The 16-5 record in July that the Yankees have is the best record this month in the majors. As the trade deadline approaches, the Yankees have a 7 game lead over the Orioles and a 7.5 game lead over the Tampa Bay Rays in the AL East. Masahiro Tanaka will get the start for the Yankees in Game 3 of the series Wednesday night at 8:05 p.m. EST.

Pitching matchups for the series between the Yankees and Rangers at Globe Life Park

Ivan Nova during spring training in 2011 during a game against the Orioles.

Ivan Nova during spring training in 2011 during a game against the Orioles.

The Yankees, who are 55-42, have a 6.5 game lead over the Toronto Blue Jays and 7 game lead over the Baltimore Orioles for first place in the AL East. They will continue their road trip with a four-game series in Arlington at Globe Life Park against the Texas Rangers. The Yankees have gone 8-3 in their last 10 games and have the second best record in the American League.

The Rangers are a mediocre team this year as they have a 47-50 record and are 4.5 games out of the second wild card spot. There are rumors that the Rangers could look to add Cole Hamels before the trade deadline. Jayson Stark has reported that the Rangers and Dodgers are in the lead to acquire Hamels. However, the Rangers still don’t know who will start in Wednesday or Thursday’s game.

Texas is reportedly considering an extra left-handed starter for this series to match up with the many left-handed bats that the Yankees have. The Yankees have not announced a starter for Tuesday’s game. The plan is for either Adam Warren or Chris Capuano to throw three or four innings, according to Joe Girardi, and then to have the other come on in relief.

Today is Alex Rodriguez‘s 40th birthday and he has performed better this year than anyone could have expected. He hit three homers in a game for the first time since 2010 during Saturday’s win over the Twins and is seventh in the league with his 23 homers, is tied for 10th in the league with his 58 RBIs and his .914 OPS is fifth in the league. He has been a key offensive force in the middle of the lineup and the Yankees will need him to stay healthy and productive the rest of the season.

Rodriguez’s OPS is higher right now than it has been since the 2008 season. He is also having his best season overall offensively since the 2009 season, which is the last time the Yankees won the World Series. Part of his return to form is due to being a full-time DH and part of it is due to him being completely healthy this season.

The Yankees will look to win their seventh consecutive series before ending their long road trip against the Chicago White Sox. Here are the pitching matchups for this series.

Tonight
RHP Ivan Nova (2-3, 3.34)
vs.
LHP Matt Harrison (1-1, 5.40)
8:05 p.m., YES Network and ESPN

Tuesday
TBA
vs.
LHP Martin Perez (0-1, 4.91)
8:05 p.m., FS1

Wednesday
RHP Masahiro Tanaka (7-3, 3.64)
vs.
TBA
8:05 p.m., YES Network

Thursday
RHP Michael Pineda (9-7, 3.97)
vs.
TBA
8:05 p.m. YES Network

Slade Heathcott will make his first big-league start tonight against the Rangers

Slade Heathcott

Slade Heathcott

The Yankees will play their first game of a three-game series against the Texas Rangers tonight at Yankee Stadium. The game will start at approximately 7:05 p.m.

The Yankees will be starting the same lineup that they did on Wednesday except that Slade Heathcott, who was called up from Triple-A Scranton when Jacoby Ellsbury went on the disabled list, will get the start instead of Chris Young.

This will be Heathcott’s first career big-league start and he will be getting his first career at-bat. Slade, whose first name is Zachary, hit .285 with one homer, 17 RBIs and five steals in 37 games at Triple-A.

It’s surreal,” said Heathcott, who will bat ninth and play center field Friday night. “It’s a childhood dream to play in the big leagues and to start, and here I am getting to do it in pinstripes — it doesn’t get any better.”

Joe Girardi said that he wants Heathcott to take quality at-bats and play solid defense during his time with the Yankees. He will be able to play much better defense in right field than Carlos Beltran, which will probably lead to Beltran getting the day off on Saturday or Sunday.

Michael Pineda will get the start for the Yankees on Friday night. He will need to bounce back from his previous start when he had his worst outing of his great season. In his start on May 15 against the Royals he allowed five runs on 10 hits in 5.1 innings while only striking out one. His slider was off against the Royals, which prevented him from striking out batters like he did against the Baltimore Orioles when he had 16.

He is the ace of the pitching staff right now and the Yankees need him to pitch like he has for most of the season. Nick Martinez, who played second base and pitched at Fordham, will get a start in this series and will be back playing in the Bronx for the second time. He threw 5.1 shutout innings during his previous start at Yankee Stadium.

Here are the pitching matchups for the series at Yankee Stadium:

Tonight
RHP Michael Pineda (5-1, 3.31)
vs.
RHP Colby Lewis (3-2, 3.06)
7:05 p.m., YES Network and MLB Network

Saturday
LHP CC Sabathia (2-5, 4.67)
vs.
RHP Nick Martinez (3-0, 1.88)
1:05 p.m., WPIX and MLB Network

Sunday
LHP Chris Capuano (0-1, 12.00)
vs.
RHP Yovani Gallardo (3-6, 4.26)
8:05 p.m., ESPN

Marcus Thames should be the next hitting coach for the Yankees

Marcus Thames when he played for the Yankees

Marcus Thames when he played for the Yankees

The Red Sox have recently hired Chili Davis as their next hitting coach. He previously did well as the hitting coach with the Oakland Athletics, since they scored the fourth most runs in baseball, played with the Yankees during the last two years of his career from 1998-1999 and would have been an ideal next hitting coach for the Yankees.

As of now, the hitting coaches that the Yankees should target should be Marcus Thames or James Rowson. They both have good reputations and have a few years experience as hitting coaches.

Rowson is currently the Yankees’ minor-league hitting coordinator. He has already interviewed for the position that has been vacant since Kevin Long was fired after the season. Rowson served as a hitting coach in the Yankees organization before leaving for the Cubs in 2012 when he took over as their hitting coach midway through that season. He left after the 2013 season to return to the Yankees.

Rowson knows New York well since he grew up in Mount Vernon, which is just outside of the Bronx, and went to high school at Mount St. Michael in the Bronx. He was drafted in the 9th round of the 1994 draft by the Seattle Mariners.  He is 38 years old so he will be able to relate well to the veterans and younger players on the team. He played five seasons in the minors with the Mariners and Yankees before retiring in 1997 at the age of 20. He played in an independent league when he was 21.

The candidate that would likely be a better choice is the 34-year-old Thames. He has more success in Major League Baseball and was the Double-A hitting coach at Trenton this season. This means that he has experience with many of the up and coming hitters and already likely has some experience with the established players on the Yankees.

Thames is from Louisville and was drafted by the Yankees out of Texas State University in the 30th round in 1996. He also went to East Central Community College in Decatur, Mississippi. He would play seven games for the Yankees in 2002 and then played for the Texas Rangers in 2003, the Detroit Tigers from 2004 to 2009, the Yankees again in 2010 and then his last season was with the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2011. In 2010, he hit 12 homers and had a career-high .288 average with the Yankees.

He had 115 homers, 301 RBIs and 83 doubles in his career mostly as a fourth outfielder. Thames averaged a home run every 15.4 at-bats and reached 100 homers in 1,549 at-bats which is few than any other player who has 100 homers. He also holds the Tigers franchise record for average at-bats per homer, at 14.8. He was in the Yankees minor league system from 1996 to 2001, so he knows what it takes to develop young hitters.

Thames helped Rob Refsnyder, who could be the second baseman (or the back-up second baseman) next season, retool his swing at Double-A. In 2013, the was the Yankees Single-A hitting coach in Tampa. A benefit with Thames is that he knows the young prospects well and will be able to make sure the continue to improve once they are called up.

He is also a young coach who has made a difference in his first few years, which is a pleasant change from Long because he was older and didn’t make much of a difference last season. A hitting coach doesn’t always make a huge difference, a new voice with new ideas could be the difference between making the playoffs and advancing to the next round.

The Yankees were 13th out of the 15 teams in the American League in runs scored in 2014, and Marcus Thames could make a difference with the players who underperformed such as Mark Teixeira, Brian McCann and Carlos Beltran. It will also be important for those three to stay healthy the whole season.

The Yankees’ struggling offense led to the Rangers winning their first series since the end of June

Jacoby Ellsbury

Jacoby Ellsbury

The Yankees lost to the Texas Rangers 3-2 on Wednesday night, and in turn ended up losing the series to the last place Rangers. The Rangers had lost their last seven consecutive series, going back to the end of June, before winning two out of three at Globe Life Park against the Yankees. Derek Jeter, who had a pre-game ceremony with George Bush, Ivan Rodriguez and Michael Young before going 0-4, received a standing ovation before his final at-bat.

The theme of the game was once again offensive ineptitude by the Yankees. Brett Gardner hit a solo homer to leadoff the game to deep right near the Right Field Grill. This was his fourth homer of the series in which he hit .571. The Yankees would load the bases with two outs, but Francisco Cervelli grounded out to the shortstop to end the inning.

Jacoby Ellsbury hit his ninth homer of the season to right center in the third inning. That would be the last run that the Yankees would score since they only had two hits besides those two homers. Carlos Beltran had two hits, but they were both singles. Cervelli had his 10-game hitting streak end and the Yankees ended the game with 19 consecutive outs after Ellsbury’s homer. They also had six strikeouts and only two walks.

“I thought we hit some balls pretty good and just didn’t have much to show for it,” Joe Girardi said. “We need consistency in our offense. We just didn’t score enough runs.” Not scoring enough runs was a huge understatement. Colby Lewis, the journeyman starting pitcher, had a 6.23 ERA coming into the game, and the Yankees were only able to score two runs in seven innings off of him. Not including Tuesday’s game in which the Yankees won 12-11, they only scored four runs combined against the worst team in baseball.

Hiroki Kuroda allowed three runs in the first inning, as Elvis Andrus, Adrian Beltre and Leonis Martin drove in runs, but he rebounded to not allow any runs in the next six innings. He pitched well enough to get the win, but the offense was once again not able to help him. He has pitched the most quality starts while getting a loss of any pitcher in baseball since his career began with the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2008.

Kuroda was helped by a successful wheel play in the fourth inning by Chase Headley to get J.P. Arencibia out at third, and by getting Rougned Odor to strike out and Shin-Soo Choo to ground out with runners on first and second in the sixth.

The Yankees are 5-29 when they score two runs or less, which proves that the Yankees have scored two runs or less many times, and that Brian Cashman needs to acquire an outfielder who will be an improvement over Ichiro Suzuki in right before the 4:00 p.m. July 31 trade deadline.

The Yankees began their 16-game stretch after the All-Star break with a 7-1 record, but they have gone 1-4 since then. That includes losing the last two games to the Toronto Blue Jays and two out of three to the Rangers. It was important that the Yankees score a lot of runs off of Lewis, but with the loss, the Yankees now have scored four runs or fewer in nine of their past 11 games.

July 31 will bring an off day, and then the Yankees will start a three-game weekend series against the rival Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park. They need to win two or three games in order to keep pace and/or make up ground in the wild card and division standings.

The Yankees overcame a shaky bullpen to edge the Rangers 12-11

Brett Gardner

Brett Gardner

The Yankees beat the Texas Rangers in an offensive slugfest, 12-11, in the second game of the series in Arlington, Texas. They will look to win the series in Wednesday’s game as Hiroki Kuroda, the only remaining starter who began the season in the rotation, will be pitching against the struggling Colby Lewis (6-8, 6.23 ERA).

Brandon McCarthy did not pitch as well as he did in his first three starts with the Yankees, as he gave up four runs in six innings, but he was still able to get third win in four starts because the Yankees were winning 8-4 when he left the game. It appeared that the Bronx Bombers were on track to a relatively uneventful win, but they ended up getting a win that was not secure until the last out of the ninth inning because of an unusually shaky bullpen.

The Yankees scored seven runs in the sixth inning, which appeared to give them control of the game. Carlos Beltran, who is now on a six-game hitting streak and has driven in six runs in those games, hit a single to drive in Brett Gardner and Derek Jeter. Brian McCann’s sacrifice fly scored Mark Teixeira. After Chase Headley walked, Zoilo Almonte’s single sent Beltran home. Brendan Ryan hit a two-run double and would later score on an Alex Rios error with Gardner batting to give the Yankees a 8-4 lead.

Adam Warren loaded the bases in the seventh after two walks and a single. Then, Dellin Betances came into the game, and gave up a grand slam to J.P. Arencibia. Three of those runs were charged to Warren. That was Arencibia’s seventh RBI of the game, and before the game he only had 15 RBIs and a .152 average.

The bullpen combined to allow seven earned runs, and the Yankees would not have won without Mark Teixeira’s homer to left that drove in Gardner in the eighth inning. Joe Girardi said it was great to escape with a win considering all of the scoring that happened.

It is a strange game,” Girardi said. “But it is great to get out of here with a win, it would have been a really difficult one to lose. We struggled the last few innings getting outs, but in the end, we got the last out and we won the game. I’ve seen that this can be a good hitters ballpark, and that is exactly what it was tonight.”

David Robertson allowed a two-run single with two outs in the ninth, to make the score 12-11, but he was able to get Adrian Beltre to fly out to left with the bases loaded to end the game.

“That was about as bad as you can suck and still get lucky,” Robertson said. “I just fell apart out there.” He was able to record his 27th save of the season, which is tied for second in the American League, but he finished the ninth inning with two hits, three walks and 31 pitches thrown. That will mean that he will not be available for tomorrow’s series finale.

As a result of Mark Teixeira’s return from his injury, the Yankees were able to have a more normal lineup of him playing first and Brian McCann catching. Seven different Yankees recorded a one or more hits, but a player who needs to give more offensive production is McCann. Over the last seven days, McCann is only hitting .192 with five RBIs.

Gardner has given the Yankees much more in the power department than the team could have expected. With his first inning homer, he is currently second on the squad in homers behind only Teixeira. Gardner’s 13 homers are a career high and more than power hitters on the team such as McCann and Beltran. Jacoby Ellsbury, who hit 32 homers in 2011, only has eight so far.

Gardner has gone 7-10 in the two games in Arlington to raise his average from .272 to .283. He has been getting as many steals, but Gardner’s power has helped to make up for what is lacking from others in the lineup. If the Yankees can score somewhere between the 12 runs that they scored on Tuesday and the two they scored on Monday they will be in good shape.

Based on how successful the bullpen has been all year, it seems like Tuesday’s shaky performance by Warren, Betances, Chase Whitley and Robertson should be an aberration. The Yankees improved to 55-51 with the win, and they are two games behind the Toronto Blue Jays for the second Wild Card.