Brian Heyman here at Yankee Stadium for Chad today. So Derek Jeter is hitting, off to a .366 start with two homers and six RBI in nine games, batting safely in eight of them. He has 15 hits entering tonight’s series opener with the Twins, his third-best start in that category.
Jeter was trying that strideless approach last spring and quickly realized that it was a bad idea.
“I thought it would work,” Jeter said. “It didn’t work. I just wasn’t comfortable. Why did I try it? Because I wanted to do better.”
The captain tried to go back to his old mechanics, but he said that was an adjustment, too. “Then I got hurt,” Jeter said. “It was a blessing in disguise. I got a chance to work on some things.”
Jeter was on the DL June 14-July 3 with a calf strain. He was batting .260 before he got hurt, then batted .331 after returning. Joe Girardi always points to Jeter getting his 3,000th hit July 9 as a turning point, removing that pressure. “He’s been a different guy since he got his 3,000th hit,” the manager said again today. Jeter rejected that again as a factor, though.
He’s also driving the ball better now. Jeter needed 30 games to get to two homers last season.
“If you stay back, good things happen,” Jeter said.
Another good thing will happen in May. Jeter will be awarded an honorary doctorate at Siena’s commencement ceremony at the Times Union Center in Albany. It’s meant to salute his charity work. His sister will collect the degree for him, but Jeter will speak on a video.
“It means a lot to me,” Jeter said. …
CC Sabathia had a one-word summation of his two starts so far: “Bad.” He has allowed nine earned runs in 12 innings, and has two no-decisions. He will start tomorrow night vs. the Twins. He said his velocity has been good, but his command has been off.
No one should worry.
“CC has been a notoriously slow starter,” Girardi said. “… As it starts to get warmer — we know he likes the heat — he starts to pitch better.” …
Girardi also said he isn’t considering a six-man rotation for when Andy Pettitte or Michael Pineda returns.