We know it’s just Spring Training and it’s a time for the players to get comfortable in the batters box and on the field, but Derek Jeter‘s slow start in Spring Training is making headlines.
Jeter’s only hitting .132 in 13 Spring Training games this season (he has a .353 on base percentage, which is probably why I never noticed Jeter’s slow start), but since returning from an ankle injury, Jeter’s not as productive at the plate as he usually is. So with the slow start in Spring and the season beginning in less than two weeks, is Jeter worried?
“I haven’t worried about that for a while,” Jeter said to the New York Post. “I haven’t worried since I got here. Some springs take longer than others to get going. I don’t try to do anything new or different. There have been springs that have gone like this and some have gone better, but there’s no correlation between last year and this year. I could be having the same spring now if I stayed healthy last year.”
The Yankees aren’t worried about Jeter’s slow start either, adding he looked better than last year, when just walking on the ankle was a problem for him.
“He’s getting comfortable with his timing, staying inside the ball and elevating some balls,” hitting coach Kevin Long said. “He’s using his legs and doing all the things he’s used to doing. Every spring training he goes through stretches when he doesn’t hit the ball in the air. … The good thing is his swing isn’t hindered by anything right now. He looks normal to me, and that was never the case last year.”
With Opening Day approaching on April 1st, Jeter admits he’s not where he needs to be as of yet, but again, he still has time to work on things before the season begins.
“My job is the same as it’s always been: To get ready for when the season starts,” Jeter said. “I’ve tried to shy away from saying I can’t wait to get out of here. I’m trying not to look too far ahead.”