Tex looks to slug his way back to the Bronx
Posted Thursday, February 26, 2015, at 2:30 PM
Tex is ready to excel in 2015.
TAMPA, Fla. — New York Yankees first baseman Mark Teixeira is ready to put a disappointing 2014 behind him. Tex altered his diet and worked out ferociously in the offseason in hopes of returning to form this season.
"Then I kind of basically just went back to what I've always done, and that's just hit the weights really hard because I need to be strong," Teixeira said. "I'm a power hitter, a guy that has to drive the ball from both sides of the plate, and that's what I did this offseason."
Tex lost 15 lbs of fat and gained almost the same back in muscle. Teixeira had a batting average of only .216 with 22 home runs and 62 RBIs in 123 games last year. He battled a right wrist injury most of the year, and other issues, before finally fading in the second half of the season.
"I look at the last two years as hopefully just a bump in the road," Teixerira said. "The way I feel now, I feel like a kid again. I feel like I did a few years ago when I was hitting 30-plus homers and driving in 100 [runs] and playing almost every single day, and that's what I plan to do today."
"Last year was really, really difficult, physically and mentally," Tex continued. "I felt like garbage all year, basically. So when you're feeling like that and trying to perform, you just get beaten down and you wonder, 'Am I ever going to be the same?'"
Despite the setbacks, Tex is optimistic about the upcoming campaign.
"We have the talent in here," Tex said. "There's a lot of teams that would love to have our roster right now. It takes talent, it takes health, it takes execution. We have the talent, so the health and execution are the ones we're going to work on this year. I think we all believe in each other here."
Finally, Teixerria expressed his thoughts on his friend Alex Rodriguez backing him up at first base. "It is funny; I was a rookie when Alex was the best player in the world, and he got to teach me some things," Teixeira said.
And A-Rod is open to doing whatever it takes to help the team. "It was something we already talked a little bit about via text this offseason," Rodriguez said of his conversation with manager Joe Girardi. "Whether Joe wants me to play first base, third base, DH, ball boy, I'm all in. Whatever it takes."
"Now I'm going to be able to teach him some things," Tex continued Having a backup, a decent backup is important, because I know there were times last year when I was just out there for my defense."
"I don't think the actual catching and throwing is going to be the problem," Girardi said about A-Rod backing up Tex. "It's knowing how to come off the base and be prepared. It's knowing where to be on cuts and relays and that sort of thing. Alex studies the game, so I think he can pick that up."