The weekly Injury Report is supposed to cover players from all Major League Baseball teams. However, it feels as though this has become a New York Yankees blog since several of these articles have focused on the Bronx Bombers. Well why stop now? With Opening Day just a few weeks away and drafts taking place every day, it is absolutely critical that you plan accordingly when strategizing how to value players on the shelf. So without further adieu, here is the eighth installment of the Walking Wounded for the 2013 fantasy baseball season.
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Player Profile: Mark Teixeira (1B-NYY).
This year was supposed to be different for Yankees first baseman Mark Teixeira. After signing a lucrative long-term deal prior to the 2009 season, Teixeira has admittedly not lived up to his contract. While generally speaking his power numbers and run production are in line with his past production (despite 2012 in which he missed time due to injuries), Teixeira has seen his batting average plummet and established himself as a one-dimensional hitter.
Long gone are his days of hitting .280 - .290. Now, Teixeira struggles just to reach .250. Opposing teams have employed drastic shifts against him as he is unable to adjust his swing and hit the ball the other way. He has been a relative albatross in the playoffs. But despite all of that, fantasy baseball players could at least count on 30 homeruns and 100 RBI from the switch-hitting first baseman who has the luxury of playing half his games at Yankee Stadium.
Then, while practicing on Team USA for the World Baseball Classic, Teixeira injured his wrist taking swings off a tee. Initially he was reported to be shut down for 8-10 days. But after flying back to New York for tests, it was revealed that he injured the tendon in his wrist and would be out between 8-10 weeks. That means he will not be back until May at the earliest.
This injury is alarming for several reasons. First of all, a wrist injury to a power hitter is akin to a hamstring injury to a base stealer. We have already discussed the concern over Jose Bautista’s return from his wrist injury, but he had surgery to repair the damage and has the benefit of an entire spring training. On the other hand, Teixeira is simply resting the wrist and will resume baseball activities when he is medically cleared.
For purposes of your draft, Teixeira could be problematic because he typically gets off to very slow starts. Since his season won’t begin until at least May, it is very likely that he won’t start producing, if at all, until sometime in June. That is an awfully long time to wait.
There is no doubt that Teixeira’s average draft position will plummet as a result of this injury. The question is where in the draft does he become a value pick? With so many other options at first base, he should not be taken before the 10th round in almost any format. That differs from someone like Curtis Granderson who is also out until May, but he will likely still be drafted by the 6th or 7th round simply because there is a lack of power-hitting outfielders.
If you draft Teixeira, make sure it is only as a corner infield/utility position on your roster. He can have great value if you build a strong roster around him and can afford to stash him on your bench. As desperate as the Yankees will be to get him back in their depleted lineup, they will not rush him back and risk further long-term damage requiring a more extended absence. Draft him with caution and make sure you don’t spend an early round draft pick or significant auction dollars on him.
If you have any comments or questions, please feel free reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter (@FantasyJudgment).
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