With his career winding down, Yankees first baseman Mark Teixeira took some time to sit down with Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports and reflect on his 14 seasons in the Majors. In an excellent Q&A, Teixeira discusses with Rosenthal the feeling of being traded on two different occasions, including an amusing story of a ruined cell phone on a fishing trip with former teammate David Dellucci that prevented him from learning about his trade to the Braves as quickly as he otherwise might have. The switch-hitting slugger candidly discussed his lone trip through free agency, stating that he “didn’t enjoy it at all” and also explaining how he very nearly signed with the division-rival Red Sox that winter before agreeing to terms with the Yankees. He also discusses the differences of being in a pennant race as an expected contributor and as a veteran role player. I’d highly recommend checking out Rosenthal’s piece, as it pulls back the curtain a bit on free agency and trades and also contains a number of interesting anecdotes from Teixeira.
Here’s more from the AL East…
- Rays right fielder Steven Souza Jr. is seeing a specialist in Nashville to have his hip evaluated today, per Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times. Souza has been playing through lingering discomfort in his left hip that has limited him in the weight room and other non-baseball activities. Souza describes the feeling as a pinching sensation that is stemming from an irregular bone growth in his hip. The possibility of surgery is on the table for the 27-year-old, who has batted .247/.303/.409 with 17 homers and six steals while playing above-average defense in spite of the hip troubles this year.
- Hanley Ramirez has redeemed himself in Boston after a dreadful first year with the Red Sox, and Alex Speier of the Boston Globe spoke to the slugger about his transformation at the plate. Ramirez feels that a shoulder injury sustained when crashing into the left field wall early last season hindered his ability to catch up with fastballs “a lot,” and Speier examines Ramirez’s complete rebound against heaters in 2016. Ramirez hit just .236 against fastballs last season, with only eight of his 19 homers coming against them. He didn’t hit a single homer off a pitch that was thrown 94 mph or greater, but he’s done so four times in the past three weeks alone, including last Thursday’s walk-off blast against Dellin Betances. Ramirez, whose batting line rests at a magnificent .294/.364/.517 (28 homers), discussed the various changes he’s made to his approach at the plate, specifically a lowered hand position that shortens his swing and increases the power. Manager John Farrell raved about Ramirez to reporters following last night’s two-homer performance (via MLB.com’s Ian Browne). “His comeback, his resurgence, it has been a major factor for where we stand today,” said Farrell.