The Bronx Bombers are going to be leaving the lumber at home during the Home Run Derby.
Yankees first baseman Mark Teixeira and center fielder Curtis Granderson, who both have hit more than 20 home runs, said they will not participate in the Home Run Derby this year if they are asked. The home run derby will be on July 11 at Chase Field in Arizona.
“It’s (batting practice), so I would put up a zero, maybe one,” said Granderson, who is tied for fifth in the league with 21 home runs. “There would be no point for me to do it.”
Teixeira, who is tied for the league-lead with 23, is continuing a policy he’s had since he participated in the event in 2005. That year, when he was with the Texas Rangers, he hit just two home runs and failed to advance out of the first round.
The first baseman said it was a cool experience to bat in the Home Run Derby but called the showcase "difficult", classifying it as a batting practice without a cage and 50,000 people watching while there is announcing in the background. He said he’s simply just not good at home run derbies.
Currently, Teixeira is not slated to be an All-Star, as he is behind Boston’s Adrian Gonzalez in the voting, but it is likely will make his way onto the roster, a requisite to be in the event.
“Raw power wise in batting practice, I don’t really have a lot of raw power,” Teixeira said. “I’ll hit a few out in batting practice just to let a few go, but I guess my power comes in games a little bit easier.”
While Granderson is projected to make the All-Star team, as he is second among all AL outfielders in votes, he said he does not expect to be asked to participate in the event unless he’s needed as a fill-in. While his 21 home runs might beg to differ, the center fielder sees others being asked before himself.
Granderson has never participated in the event, but is reasoning to stay away this year is because he said he does not have any batting practice power. Before Tuesday’s game against Milwaukee, Granderson estimated that he hit two home runs in 35 swings.
“The pitcher throws harder during a game,” Granderson said about his lack of power in batting practice compared to his power during games. “You got a guy throwing 90 mph versus a guy throwing 60 mph. It adds to the distance of the ball and how far it’s going to travel.”
Four other Yankees are projected to start the All-Star Game in shortstop Derek Jeter, second baseman Robinson Cano, third baseman Alex Rodriguez and catcher Russell Martin, but none of them are among the top 20 home run hitters in the league. Rodriguez has passed on the event in the past and Cano pulled out of the Home Run Derby last year.