Kevin Long Appreciation, The Jeter and Granderson Edition

How many times have we heard that The Captain Derek Jeter was done this season? Probably only slightly more than we heard about the Curtis Granderson trade being a bust.

If you are not paying attention, it appears that both of those statements were premature.

A little over a month ago Granderson’s numbers dropped to a season low as he was stuck in a slump that had seen him pick up only three hits in the first two weeks of August. So the Yankees benched him for a couple of days while he worked with the Yankees hitting coach Kevin Long on revamping his swing. Since he returned he’s been on fire:

37 G, 35-for-128 (.273), 6 2B, 11 HR, .372 OBP, .578 SLG, .950 OPS.

Jeter had been having a slower season, but was still batting .302 on June 5th, but hit .231 from June 6th until September 10th, 83 games. Michael Kay would call that un-Jeterian.

In desperation Jeter, who is more of a see the ball, hit the ball kind of guy who doesn’t work a lot on his hitting mechanics, met with Long to see what he was doing wrong. Like he did with Granderson, Long worked with Jeter to cut down on some of the movement in his swing and to shorten it a bit. It’s early, but it seems to have paid off:

8 G, 11-for-33 (.333), 3 2B, .439 OBP, .424 SLG, .863 OPS.

If these two players can stay hot throughout the rest of the season and into the playoffs, the Yankees offense should have no problem scoring runs and backing up their pitching staff. If only Long was a doctor and could help Brett Gardner with his wrist and Nick Swisher with his knee the Yankees would be looking very good right now.

About Rob Abruzzese

Rob Abruzzese created Bronx Baseball Daily in 2008 just before graduating from Brooklyn College. He currently serves BBD as its editor and works as a reporter at the Brooklyn Daily Eagle. Follow Rob on Twitter @RobAbruzzese.

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One Response to Kevin Long Appreciation, The Jeter and Granderson Edition

  1. Mike S. says:

    Not to mention Lance Berkman with his power. Berkman is still looking for his first Yankee HR.

    When the postseason starts, all else is forgotten. It's like a brand new season, with higher intensity. You can stink during the regular season but redeem yourself in October.

    Billy Martin, 1952 .267-3-33, but that catch… 1953 .257-15-75 but 12 for 24 in the WS.

    Don Larsen 1956 11-5, 3.26 but the perfecto.

    Bucky Dent 1978. With the HR, still .243-5-40, but the HR and the WS MVP.

    Brian Doyle 1978. 10 for 52 reg. season. .438 WS.

    Jim Beattie 1978. 6-9, 3.83 but then Game 1 of the ALCS and Game 5 of the WS.

    …and more

    You never know when someone who stunk or was only average in the regular season has a great postseason. Hope such is the case for various Yankees (esp. some pitchers!)

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