Derek Jeter told Chad Jennings of the Journal News this afternoon that he isn’t yet comfortable with his revamped approach at the plate.
“It’ll take a while to get comfortable,” Jeter said. “When was the first game? Two days ago? That was the first time I’ve seen pitching with (the new mechanics). It’s going to take a while to get comfortable. You have more time because there’s no stride. Now you’ve just got to figure out when to swing.”
Jeter began to tinker his his trademark stride while working with Yankees hitting coach Kevin Long last September, but he is now trying to eliminate it altogether, ala Paul Molitor in the later part of his career. Such a change allows Jeter’s bat to get through the strike zone faster, but Long says it’s all a matter of timing.
“His timing is just a little bit off on the outside pitch,” Long said. “He’s got to wait a little bit longer on those pitches, and the ones in, he’s been a little bit late on. We’ll gain on it and go day by day with it. I’m certainly not, at this point, ready to cash it in and start from scratch with it. It’s going to take a little time.”
Yankees manager Joe Girardi said that he won’t truly start evaluating Jeter’s swing until “three weeks or so” into spring training, but the club is making his revamped swing a top priority. Long will skip tomorrow’s trip to Bradenton in order to work with Jeter one-on-one in Tampa.