MLB Fantasy Baseball 2011: Should You Bench Mark Teixeira in April?

Ryan Lester@LestersLegendsSenior Writer IMarch 30, 2011

TAMPA, FL - FEBRUARY 26:  Infielder Mark Teixeira #25 of the New York Yankees triples in the fifth inning against the Philadelphia Phillies during a Grapefruit League Spring Training Game at George M. Steinbrenner Field on February 26, 2011 in Tampa, Florida.  (Photo by J. Meric/Getty Images)
J. Meric/Getty Images

Mark Teixeira is a notorious slow starter.

His lifetime batting average in March and April is .235. He’s a .294 hitter in the other months. He hits a home run every 27 at-bats in March and April. He homers every 15.8 at-bats in the other months.

His early batting averages the past two years have been dreadful.

2010: .136, two HRs

2009: .200, three HRs

Not only have his averages been dreadful, but so have his slugging percentages (.259 last year, .371 in 2009). He combined for 22 runs and 19 RBI in the two years, but that only averages out to about 5.5 runs and 4.75 RBI per week.

Obviously, he has great power potential, averaging 34.4 home runs per season in his eight years, but is he worth the harm that he could do to your batting average early on?

If you have a decent option on the bench, I say why not? At least until he proves you wrong.

He faces Justin Verlander on Opening Day. Tex has just one hit in 17 at-bats lifetime against him (.059 batting average).

Next up is Brad Penny (.182 lifetime) and then Max Scherzer (0-for-4). He’s also 0-for-3 against Tiger closer Jose Valverde. It certainly doesn’t look good out of the gate for the switch-hitting slugger.

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All three Tiger starters and Valverde are right-handed. Tex hit .247 against righties last year.

You may be tempted to use Teixeira because he’s hitting well this spring, but he hit .362 and .433 respectively in the past two spring trainings. I’m not saying to bench him for the entire month of April, but play it by ear with him.

I certainly wouldn’t shy away from sitting him against the Tigers, given all the signs.

Unless his owner is a newbie, I wouldn’t try to buy low on Teixeira.

His slow starts are fairly common knowledge. It’s probably not worth your effort.

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