John Harper of the Daily News wrote this morning about the possibility of moving Robinson Cano higher in the order. I have pushed that idea ever since last season ended, but Alex Rodriguez gave me a reason to think otherwise.
“I can see why you might want to make the move,” Rodriguez said, “but we won a championship this way in 2009. We led the league in runs last year, too. And here's the big thing: Tex is going to have a monster season.”
The only more valuable source than A-Rod on the matter is hitting coach Kevin Long, and he agreed Mark Teixeira could have a big year.
“I've never seen Tex work so hard,” Long said. “He's on a mission, especially to get over the hump in April. He started swinging earlier, started swinging more. He's getting after it.
“And he's worked on some things mechanically, too. He's tightened up his swing, made it more compact. If you've got competitive fire, which he does, you get to a certain point where you say, ‘This isn't going to happen again.’”
Tex clearly is determined to avoid his typical slow start. Maybe his strong work ethic coupled with the thought of losing his spot in the order could push him hard enough to have a strong April.
Tex will turn 31 in April, so I don’t think there is any doubt he will have a “rebound” season. I put rebound in quotes just now because Tex didn’t have that poor of a season. He hit just .256/.365/.481, but still slugged 33 homers and drove in 108 runs. Any sort of a “rebound” season would be fantastic news for the Yankees.