Yanks not surprised by Steinbrenner's remarks

May 19th, 2016
Yankees managing general partner Hal Steinbrenner backed manager Joe Girardi and his coaching staff. (AP)

PHOENIX -- Yankees managing general partner Hal Steinbrenner is voicing his disappointment and frustration with his team's performance, and as those comments carried from the streets of Manhattan into the visiting clubhouse at Chase Field, they did not come as a surprise to those in uniform.

Speaking to reporters in New York, Steinbrenner backed manager Joe Girardi and his coaching staff, but mentioned Mark Teixeira, Chase Headley, Michael Pineda and Luis Severino among the players most responsible for the Yankees' 16-22 start.

"I don't blame him. I've been terrible the last month," Teixeira said. "I've just got to get it going, especially left-handed. Right-handed, my swing feels a lot better. We've been facing a lot of lefties. I feel like I've got that pretty locked in right now, but left-handed I've been pretty bad."

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Steinbrenner spoke outside Major League Baseball's offices in Manhattan, saying that Teixeira, batting .211 with just three home runs entering play on Wednesday, is "not playing to his potential with the bat."

He said that the touted right-hander Severino -- 0-6 with a 7.46 ERA and currently on the disabled list with a right triceps strain -- is dealing with "a confidence issue" and that Pineda must huddle with pitching coach Larry Rothschild to fix his problems.

"All these strikeouts, and yet he's given up these runs," Steinbrenner said. "Whatever technically is wrong with the delivery, Larry is going to work on, but the rest is up to Pineda to figure out. He's a professional, and that's what we expect from him, and that's what his teammates expect from him."

Pineda's record fell to 1-5 with a 6.60 ERA after taking the loss in Tuesday's 5-3 defeat at Arizona.

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"It doesn't bother me that he's saying that," Pineda said. "At the same time, I expect a lot from myself. I know I can be better and that's why I'm telling you guys that I need to keep working hard to improve. I can be better. I know it."

Headley's season was off to a miserable start, but he has started to turn it around at the plate, though he still entered play on Wednesday batting .196.

"Obviously my numbers aren't where they normally are," Headley said. "It's his team. He wants to win. We want to win. And I know that I'm not, at this point, performing the way I hoped to, so it doesn't really mean anything to be honest. I don't need a reminder and I don't mean that in a negative way towards him. I know I'm not playing the way I'm capable of."

There have been bright spots; Steinbrenner praised Starlin Castro and Aaron Hicks, along with Girardi, Rothschild and general manager Brian Cashman, saying that he does not see a flaw with how the roster was put together.

"The coaches are doing a good job," Steinbrenner said. "These are professional athletes. They're the best baseball players in the world, and sooner or later it comes down to them, on the inside, to push through whatever it is they're going through and to persevere."