The 2014 MLB season has not been kind to Mark Teixeira. After suffering from an injury abbreviated 2013 in which he only played in fifteen total games, the Yankees first baseman has followed it up with the worst season of his career. While he has managed to play in 112 games this year, Teixeira has continued a troubling trend of struggling with numerous nagging injuries. Earlier this week, Teixeira spoke to media about his season long struggles with this to say:
"Look, this year was not a year, health-wise, that I was happy about," he said. "So (a full offseason training program) will keep me healthier and that's going to improve performance, no doubt."
It does not need to be said that any injury; especially those that tend to linger, can greatly affect an athlete’s performance. Sadly, Teixeira’s comments ring hollow as he appears to be ignoring the fact that he has suffered from a multitude of chronic injuries and ailments over the last three years. In 2012 alone he suffered from a months-long chronic cough that was later diagnosed as nerve damage in his vocal cords, left wrist pain, and a strained calf muscle that cost him several weeks on the disabled list. In 2013, the aforementioned damaged tendon sheath in his right wrist was the issue. So far this year, the Yankees first baseman has either missed time or has been impaired with soreness in the surgically repaired wrist, knee pain, dizziness, as well as a strained oblique muscle and hamstring strain. The answer to most problems are usually the simplest and in this case the simplest answer to Teixeira’s issues in regards to both his injuries and performance is that he is simply an old player that is breaking down.
Since his debut in 2003, Mark Teixeira has played in 1624 regular season games, and has accumulated a grand total of 7087 plate appearances. The sheer amount of mileage he has put onto his body is incalculable and at thirty-four years of age, Tex’s body is no longer able to recover as quickly from the rigors of the season as he did when he was in his twenties. To his credit, Tex has always been dedicated to physical health and nutrition, which are two things that can help stave off Father Time. Unfortunately, as we have seen so far with CC Sabathia, once the body has decided to give out, no amount of work is going to stop it from occurring.