(Sad Teix is sad. Courtesy of David Pokress/Newsday)
The Yankee participation in the 2013 World Baseball Classic was made official last week with the unveiling of the rosters. Francisco Cervelli, Robinson Cano, and Mark Teixeira will represent their respective countries while Andy Pettitte, who had been rumored to be participating, was left off the Team USA roster for obvious injury concern reasons.
While I have no qualms with the 40-year-old Pettitte participating in a regular Spring Training program, I wonder what effect, if any, playing in the WBC will have on Teix. His slow April starts have become an annual source of frustration in Yankeeland, and to date nothing he's done in ST has helped solve the riddle:
April '09- .200/.367/.371 (.331 wOBA) in 90 PA
April '10- .136/.300/.259 (.271 wOBA) in 100 PA
April '11- .256/.392/.549 (.406 wOBA) in 102 PA
April '12- .244/.290/.395 (.298 wOBA) in 93 PA
2011 is the obvious outlier here, as Teix got off to a hot start and then fall back from there, but the other 3 years were defined by an uncharacteristic lack of power and low batting average. Will a trip to the WBC this year help? It's hard to say. In theory, hitting against a higher level of competition in the Classic seems more beneficial to a veteran like Teix than playing intrasquad games or scrimmaging against college teams, but who really knows? I guess we'll just have to wait and see. It certainly couldn't hurt to try something new, right?