Derek Jeter had another base hit today, his eighth in the past seven games (seven half games is more like it). I wasn’t in Tampa to see it, but the past week or so, Jeter has stopped slapping everything into the ground and has started driving the ball a little bit. He hasn’t shown much power — his only extra-base hit has been a misplayed triple — but he’s making good, solid contact.
“I think you’re seeing it on how hard he hits the ball,” Joe Girardi said. “I think you see the comfort. You see that he comes back and talks to K-Long (after) every swing, that he felt this or felt that. When you can recognize what you’re feeling, that’s a good sign.”
We all know that spring training numbers mean very little, but Jeter is hitting .333, and at the very least, the Yankees can take that as a sign that Jeter is finding his timing with his adjusted mechanics.
“I think he just needs to get at bats and say golly, I could have waited more, and get to the feeling where it’s OK to wait more,” Girardi said. “It’s just readjusting when he necessarily needs to start something.”
To be fair, I’m not sure Jeter has ever said the word “golly” in his life, but Girardi’s point is well taken.
• Speaking of adjusted swings, Curtis Granderson hit his third spring home run this afternoon in Dunedin. “He showed it at the end of last year,” Giradi said. “He’s been a different hitter since he made that adjustment with K-Long, and we’re seeing it in the spring as well.”
• Phil Hughes wasn’t too happy with his outing today in Tampa, but apparently his changeup was good. He told reporters there that he got six of his seven outs with the changeup.
• Ivan Nova came to camp seeming to be a favorite, but now that all of the rotation candidates seem to be pitching well, it’s worth noting that Nova is the only one who can be sent to the minors. Mitre is out of options, Garcia and Colon can both opt out if the don’t make the big league club. “I don’t think (it matters),” Girardi said. “We’re going to take what we feel is the best, gives us the best chance to win.”
• Even with split-squad games, Robinson Cano and Russell Martin didn’t play today. Both had played two days in a row, and both are making tomorrow’s long trip to Viera.
• In his second spring appearance, Rafael Soriano struck out two through a hitless inning in Tampa. Joba Chamberlain followed with a scoreless inning of his own.
• The Yankees lost both games today — 10-3 in Dunedin, 6-2 in Tampa — and most of the damage was done against guys unlikely to make the big league club. Steve Garrison allowed four runs in one inning in the home game, and David Phelps allowed four runs through one inning in the road game. Phelps pitched part of a second inning but couldn’t get an out. That’s when one of his four runs scored.
• Is it just me, or does Phelps look a lot like Ian Kennedy in this picture on the left? He doesn’t really look like him in person, but I did a double take when I saw this picture from today’s game in Dunedin.
• Eduardo Nunez had a double and continues to hit this spring. He’s hitting .385 while Ramiro Pena is batting .174. Those two have been good friends since the very beginning of their careers, and they seem to be taking this as a friendly competition, but right now Nunez is thriving and Pena’s not doing much to hold him off.
• The Yankees have announced that they’ll be donating $100,000 to the relief efforts in Japan.
• Mark Newman told Marc Carig that Kei Igawa has not been able to get in touch with his family.
• Former Yankees Darrell Rasner and Jonathan Albaladejo are playing in Japan. Todd Linden, who was in Triple-A with the Yankees, might also still be playing over there. It’s probably going to be a while before we find out whether everyone is OK. The Yankees have a close working relationship with the Yomiuri Giants. “The players and people and families of Yomiuri are good (according to what the Yankees are hearing), but obviously it’s not true of the people in the country,” Brian Cashman said.
Associated Press photos