By Sweeny Murti
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Dissecting Derek Jeter’s at-bats will become a tedious exercise this spring, if it hasn’t become so already. Jeter has played in just 2 games so far and his new swing is a big topic of discussion. Ask Jeter and he will tell you its not a new swing, just a new stride—or no stride, to be exact.
Why all the fuss? You know why—Jeter hit a career low .270 last season, is signed for at least 3 more years, will turn 37 this summer, and made the first concession to his bat slowing down by changing his swing in the first place. Sorry, I mean stride.
This exercise of breaking down Jeter’s at-bats has become so meticulous that Monday evening turned into a guessing game of exactly how many at-bats Jeter has so far, 5 or 6. Welcome to spring training baseball, where even the box scores get second-guessed. Jeter is officially 1 for 6 with a ground single and five ground outs.
Either way, 5 or 6 at-bats, Jeter has about 1/162nd of work in so far and we are already trying to figure out what it means. First off, here is Jeter talking about the process so far:
Joe Girardi is preaching patience:
Hitting Coach Kevin Long is also preaching patience, saying this will take a little while still before you see exactly how well Jeter is adjusting to the new approach:
Jeter expressed to Long that he’s having trouble knowing what to do with the extra time that he has at the plate now that the foot motion is gone. That’s actually the idea behind this adjustment—to give Jeter more time to get to the pitches he was getting beat on last year:
So, even though I will be as guilty as anybody else in trying to evaluate Jeter’s progress every inning of every game, let’s try to be a little patient. Still four and a half weeks until Opening Day.
Now that I say it like it, doesn’t really sound like a lot of time does it? Oh well. Patience please.
Will Jeter get his stride figured out before opening day? Sound off in the comments below!