HOUSTON -- First baseman Mark Teixeira does not expect his surgically repaired right wrist to ever feel the way it once did, but he believes he will still be a productive big league slugger.
"I'm never going to be the way I was out of the womb," Teixeira said. "People are like, 'You had surgery, so now you're normal.' It's like, no, that's exactly why you're not normal. You have to adjust. I've had to adjust to an ankle surgery, I've had to adjust to a knee surgery.
"Any time you have a major surgery, you adjust your work habits, your preparation habits. So when I say it's never going to be normal, I'm going to have to keep those adjustments as a part of my routine going forward."
So far, Teixeira is pleased with his progress. He went 2-for-3 with an RBI and a walk in the season opener and was able to take something approaching his usual aggressive swings against the Astros.
"Hopefully. it gets stronger as the season goes on," he said. "I try to put together good at-bats. The most important thing is taking my 'A' swing, and that's not protecting it, not thinking about it. Consciously, I have to not think about it. I have to make sure that I'm letting it go on every swing."
Teixeira said that once he gets to the point where his wrist does not feel tight or sore, it will be easier to do that subconsciously. It took until the final weeks of Spring Training for him to come around on the idea of unloading, trusting that his wrist was strong enough for the swing.
"I told you the last week, I was encouraged when I saw him let go," manager Joe Girardi said. "He was letting the bat go swinging. I think it carried over into yesterday. He was the patient hitter that we've seen in the past. He drove the ball and we saw a lot of good things, line drives. We saw a lot of good things."