We all know spring training stats are meaningless. We’ve learned that lesson time and again. But for some players in Yankees camp, a few positive results could be positive reinforcement of new ideas and new mechanics.
“Whenever you have success when you’ve made a change, it’s a lot easier accepting that change,” Joe Girardi said. “When you’re struggling and you’re making a change and saying, ‘OK, it’s going to take two or three weeks to get used to the change,’ or ‘It’s going to take two or three months to get used to the change, but I know in the long run it’s going to be better for me,’ that becomes very hard.”
A.J. Burnett is changing his delivery, trying to be more consistent with his mechanics. Today he allowed his first runs of the spring, then followed with nine straight outs.
“I wouldn’t say results (matter),” Burnett said. “I would say more execution.”
Swinging without a stride, Derek Jeter is hitting .333 with one strikeout. He has one extra-base hit — and that was a bit of a lucky triple — but he’s been hitting more line drives and fewer ground balls as spring has progress.
Swinging with both hands on the bat, Brett Gardner had his fourth extra-base hit today. He’s batting .273/.429/.500 with two strikeouts and six walks.
Swinging with slightly altered mechanics he picked up late last season, Curtis Granderson is hitting .348/.400/.913 with the team lead in runs.
“Last spring wasn’t good and then the season started out great,” Gardner said. “So you can’t put a lot of stock into it. But at the same time, when you’re working on things you want to try and do well with it and be successful and get some confidence going into the season.”
Confidence is good. Then again…
“If I thought there was a chance (the change) could hurt me or send me in the wrong direction, I probably wouldn’t be doing it,” Gardner said.
Associated Press photo of Granderson