As we count down to Opening Day, Wallace Matthews and Andrew Marchand will answer 14 for '14 -- the top 14 questions facing the 2014 New York Yankees. The series will run until the eve of the first pitch between the Yankees and Astros on Tuesday, April 1, and will end with both Matthews and Marchand making their predictions for the season.
Question: Will Mark Teixeira be a 30-homer, 100-RBI guy in 2014?
Andrew Marchand: Teixeira joined Jimmie Foxx and Albert Pujols with eight seasons of 30 homers and 100 RBIs prior to his 31st birthday. In April, Teixeira will turn 34. He hasn't had a 30-100 season since 2011. In 2013, he didn't even play 30 games or take 100 at-bats.
Coming off his wrist injury that limited to him to just 17 games, Teixeira has a lot to overcome to find that old form. He has said during spring training that he feels fine. Still, given how slowly he usually begins the season, we might not learn much from the first month.
Still, he should have plenty of chances with this Yankees lineup. I think he will come close to 30 and 100, but given his age, he probably will have some sort of injury issue that will leave him just a bit shy.
Wallace Matthews: I agree with Andrew that Teixeira should have plenty of chances this season, but considering that he hasn't done it in three years and will turn 34 in early April, I think the chances are slim. Also, you must remember that in his first season back after having the same kind of wrist surgery Teixeira had, Jose Bautista found his formidable power reduced, and it remains to be seen if it will ever return to its pre-surgery levels.
All things considered, I think Tex will still be a productive hitter in the Yankees' lineup, but his best days probably are behind him. I'm guessing 25-28 home runs this season and 90-95 RBIs. Still not too bad.