Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Tex to start bunting?

From Peter Botte:
No one should expect Mark Teixeira to become a $180 million bunter this season, but the Yankee first baseman admits he’s finally ready to give in to his frustrations over declining numbers the past few years.

The switch-hitter batted a career-worst .224 from the left side of the plate in 2011, often pulling the ball into the pronounced shift most opposing teams employ against him.

And he’s ready to try something drastic.

“When no one’s on base, if they’re playing a big shift, I might lay down some bunts this year,” Teixeira said before he was among the honorees at Tuesday night’s Thurman Munson dinner in Midtown. “I’ve been so against it my entire career. But I might lay down a few bunts. If I can beat the shift that way, that’s important.”


He believes an occasional bunt and an increased concentration on driving the ball to the opposite field will keep opposing teams honest and bring those numbers back closer to his career levels.

“That right-field porch is so enticing at Yankee Stadium, and I’m not going to complain about the 39 homers, but obviously I’d love to bring my average up and it’s very simple: lefthanded singles,” said Teixeira, who claimed he hasn’t dropped a bunt in a game since his freshman year of high school. “One hit a week really adds up.”
I never understood why lefties who face that kind of a shift don't bunt more often and I'm very happy to hear that Tex is open to it. If teams are going to give you a free single, take the single, every time.

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