It’s not much of a secret Jacoby Ellsbury has been struggling at the plate. In fact, I think the 5-for his last-52 at-bats can tell the story. With Ellsbury struggling at the plate and not giving the Yankees the offense they signed him for, Yankees hitting coach Kevin Long looked at some tape for almost an hour while the Yankees were at Wrigley Field, trying to find a mechanical flaw in Ellsbury’s swing.
“It was very difficult,” Long said to the New York Daily News. “Everything looked pretty similar to what he was doing earlier. I was in there for a while trying to find it, and it was puzzling to me for quite a while. Then it just stuck out like a sore thumb.”
Finally, Long noticed something on the Ellsbury at-bat where his helmet went flying off his head and onto the ground–Ellsbury was trying to create more length in his swing, prompting him to swing and miss pitches.
“He was just late and late and late,” Long said. “When a guy struggles, I feel like I’ve got to be in here and find something for him.”
After Long pinpointed the issue, he showed Ellsbury the tape, with Ellsbury noticing the mechanical flaw. It didn’t help much with yesterday’s 3-2 loss against the White Sox, but he did get two hits after knocking his helmet off his head in the 13-inning marathon against the Cubs.
We all know that slumps will happen during the season, it’s inevitable–but Ellsbury’s slump is hurting him and the Yankees more than anyone lets on, and he has to find a way to break out and be the hitter he was in April, possibly for his own piece of mind.