“It’ll take a while to get comfortable,” Derek 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.”
Figuring out when to swing seems like a pretty basic piece of hitting, but Jeter in eliminating his stride, Jeter has changed his timing at the plate. It’s taking a while to get used to the changes, and Jeter said he still goes to the plate actively thinking about his mechanics, which is a bad thing. But it’s also an unavoidable thing at this point.
Tomorrow, hitting coach Kevin Long will stay behind in Tampa — he won’t make the team’s trip to Bradenton — so he can work one-on-one with Jeter.
“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.”
This seems like a bigger adjustment for Jeter than they originally talked about. Completely eliminating his slide is also further than they went last season when they adjusted his swing. It is what Long did with Alex Rodriguez and Nick Swisher that worked so well. The adjustments he made with Jeter last season were at least similar as well and he was much improved after the switch them.
Jeter still has plenty of time to get used it. If he has the results that most of the people who work with Long do, then he’ll get used to it and be better for it after he is done.