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Pregame notes: “I’m just trying to hit the ball hard”

Posted by: Chad Jennings - Posted in Misc on Apr 02, 2014 Print This Post Print This Post | Email This Post Email This Post

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Mark Teixeira had two hits, one of which was a ground ball to the left side against the usual defensive shift. It was effective, but it wasn’t necessarily what Teixeira was trying to do.

“What I’m trying to do is just hit the ball hard right now,” Teixeira said. “You get into trouble when you try to guide the ball places, whether it’s pulling or hitting the other way. I’m just trying to hit the ball hard, and it just happened that Qualls threw a really nice runner and my bat path was pretty good and I got just enough of it to hit it to that side of the field. Hopefully more of those come this year. Just work on that bat path, if a guy does have a good sinker or a good two-seamer away, I’ll find that hole a couple of times.”

Mark TeixeiraBasically, last night’s go-the-other-way single was not a sign that Teixeira has changed his approach in the wake of his wrist surgery. Basically, Teixeira said it was the result of a good swing.

“If you keep your bat on a good path — I’m getting kind of technical on you guys — you allow yourself to take balls that are middle away and not hook them,” Teixeira said. “If you hook them into the shift, (you think), ‘Oh yeah, I hit a line drive but I hooked it into the shift.’ Well, if your bat path is good, you can take that same swing and it’s a hard ground ball the other way. Maybe I’ll get a couple of hits that way, but I’m not trying to hit ground balls. I’m not a guy who’s going to make my living out of slapping the ball the other way. … I’m trying to have a good bat path and if the ball happens to go that way, then that’s great.”

With the shift against him, Teixeira said he sees a lot of pitches on the outer half because he got in a habit of hooking those pitches to the right side. He thinks a better path to the ball will help him hit those balls more toward the left side of the field. It’s not necessarily a new approach — he’s still trying to hit balls hard in the air, which means pulling them a lot — but he believes he could go the other way as a result of a better swing.

And last night really was pretty encouraging for his swing.

“Last night I’m up there saying, ‘Take an aggressive swing.’” Teixeira said. “I’ve never had to say that in my career. It’s always been, whatever the thought process is that at-bat: make the ball be up or look for the ball away, whatever it may be. I’ve never had to say, ‘Take an aggressive swing.’ I did that last night and I took some good swings.”

Hiroki Kuroda, Joe Girardi· Hiroki Kuroda makes his first start tonight. Joe Girardi said he expects to treat Kuroda similar to the way Andy Pettitte was used last season. Probably won’t see Kuroda go much over 100 pitches too often this year. “We’ll watch him closely like we have every other year,” Girardi said. “Maybe you start thinking, you get up around the 100 pitch mark, that might be it for him. You’ve got to see how taxing the innings are, if he’s got an extra days’ rest coming, all those sort of things. We’re going to have to watch him.”

· Teixeira said something yesterday about his wrist never being the same. Another moment of Teixeira using a phrase that sounds more significant than it is. He just meant that he’ll have to adjust a little bit, not that he won’t have strength again. “I’m never going to be the way I was out of the womb,” Teixeira explained today. “People are like, you had surgery so now you’re normal. It’s like, no, that’s exactly why you’re not normal. You have to adjust. I’ve had to adjust to an ankle surgery, I’ve had to adjust to a knee surgery. Any time you have a major surgery, you adjust your work habits, your preparation habits. So when I say it’s never going to be normal, I’m going to have to keep those adjustments as a part of my routine going forward.”

· Without a typical experienced right-handed pinch hitter on the bench, Girardi let Kelly Johnson hit against a lefty in a key spot last night. It makes some sense given that Johnson hasn’t been bad against lefties in his career. Girardi did say today, though, that he’s not completely against the idea of pinch hitting Francisco Cervelli in some key at-bats against lefties. It would cost his backup catcher — something Girardi’s been hesitant to do in the past — but he might do it with Cervelli. “I think it’s something you think about, sure,” Girardi said.

· By the way, Girardi said Dean Anna would be his emergency catcher if something happened to both Cervelli and McCann.

· Girardi on bringing the infield in against Altuve last night: “He was hitting some weak ground balls to that side and I thought we might be able to cut the run off with the pitches that CC was making, and it didn’t work.”

· Yesterday, Girardi said he wasn’t entirely sure what Brendan Ryan was doing down in Tampa. He clarified today that Ryan is definitely not doing any baseball drills. “He’s really not doing too much,” Girardi said. “He’s really not doing any baseball activity. It’s more the stretching and sort of rehabbing.”

· First pregame ceremony for Derek Jeter tonight. Kind of different doing a pregame ceremony for a position player rather than a closer. “It’s not a big deal,” Girardi said. “But he might be running his last few sprints at that time, you know? It’s just, you get used to going out at the same time every day, and you’ve got to adjust it a little bit.”

Associated Press photos

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88 Responses to “Pregame notes: “I’m just trying to hit the ball hard””

  1. The Fifth Core Foursman April 2nd, 2014 at 7:19 pm

    Big game for the Yankee whine base tonight. Massive game. Do or die!

  2. Howler April 2nd, 2014 at 7:20 pm

    I actually look forward to seeing Nunez hook on with another team and maybe get a shot at being a regular with less pressure on him. Trade him to the Astros after they leave town.

  3. kd April 2nd, 2014 at 7:21 pm

    nunez should sign with the mets

  4. trisha - true pinstriped blue April 2nd, 2014 at 7:21 pm

    Fast drive-by to say:

    LET’S GO O’S!!!

    :)

  5. KPB April 2nd, 2014 at 7:25 pm

    Just got to the park. Hoping to bring good luck to the boys tonight.

  6. Howler April 2nd, 2014 at 7:26 pm

    Trish…I’m going to save that for a Yankees-O’s game just to haunt you ;)

  7. tomingeorgia April 2nd, 2014 at 7:27 pm

    Senor Bartolo looks like the same old, only bigger! I want this kid Lagares.

  8. j9d April 2nd, 2014 at 7:36 pm

    KPB

    Enjoy and bring home a winner!

  9. Hassey April 2nd, 2014 at 7:40 pm

    Why is jack curry wearing a jigsaw puzzle piece on his lapel?

  10. sammiejohnson April 2nd, 2014 at 7:40 pm

    Lagares is looking good the first couple of games this year for the Mets. But last year he had an OBP of .281 and had nearly 100 Ks in 420 PA. Think I would wait and see for a bit. Good defender though.

  11. trisha - true pinstriped blue April 2nd, 2014 at 7:43 pm

    “Trish…I’m going to save that for a Yankees-O’s game just to haunt you ;)

    Don’t you dare!!!

    :)

    I see the king of milkshakes hit one deep (Uncle Bud told them to make hay this year since he can’t promise secret notification once he’s gone).

    We have to remember too though that Jimenez never really had a spring training

  12. Hassey April 2nd, 2014 at 7:43 pm

    Meredith has a second career waiting for her in the UFC

  13. warriors1965 April 2nd, 2014 at 7:44 pm

    So Pedroia has a couple more hits already tonight and Ortiz just hit a HR.

  14. pete2 April 2nd, 2014 at 7:45 pm

    Jiminez grooved a 91 mph FB inside and over the plate to Ortiz. Insanity. Of course the ump helped out calling a ball on a clear strike and instead of 0-2 it was 1-1

  15. Poetkiosk April 2nd, 2014 at 7:45 pm

    The jigsaw puzzle piece is for autism awareness day

  16. trisha - true pinstriped blue April 2nd, 2014 at 7:45 pm

    I think Orsillo rivals the most oppressive when a suxer hits a homer. You’d swear it was the last game of the WS and Orsillo’s actually in tears. It’s revolting.

  17. pete2 April 2nd, 2014 at 7:46 pm

    The ump has cost Jiminez at least 8 called strikes per game day

  18. trisha - true pinstriped blue April 2nd, 2014 at 7:46 pm

    “So Pedroia has a couple more hits already tonight and Ortiz just hit a HR.”

    And? If you’re that enamored of them, become a fan of theirs.

  19. trisha - true pinstriped blue April 2nd, 2014 at 7:47 pm

    “The ump has cost Jiminez at least 8 called strikes per game day”

    Electronic balls and strike calling is the only answer. It’s probably a bit away, but it will come here some day.

  20. pete2 April 2nd, 2014 at 7:48 pm

    ” trisha – true pinstriped blue April 2nd, 2014 at 7:45 pm

    I think Orsillo rivals the most oppressive when a suxer hits a homer. You’d swear it was the last game of the WS and Orsillo’s actually in tears. It’s revolting.

    Watch it on MASN, NESN is brutal with in game promotions, interviews and giggles and they no longer have any eye candy

  21. Poetkiosk April 2nd, 2014 at 7:49 pm

    Hoping to see some hard hit balls tonight

  22. bbb51 April 2nd, 2014 at 7:49 pm

    Benny Blanco April 2nd, 2014 at 5:33 pm
    Yes! But he looks just like a young arod it crazy!

    http://www.cbssports.com/mlb/e…..ep-tourney

    Kid already has performance enhancers around his neck and wrist.

  23. trisha - true pinstriped blue April 2nd, 2014 at 7:49 pm

    I repeat –

    We have to remember too though that Jimenez never really had a spring training.

    I think he’s doing pretty darned good in spite of it. Wait ’til he gets in the groove.

    And Lackey is known to fall apart quickly. I’m not worried about the O’s getting shut out.

  24. Howler April 2nd, 2014 at 7:49 pm

    C’mon Trish…admit it…you’ve got that Big Papi Jersey framed on your wall ;)

  25. trisha - true pinstriped blue April 2nd, 2014 at 7:50 pm

    “Watch it on MASN, NESN is brutal with in game promotions, interviews and giggles and they no longer have any eye candy”

    Don’t know if I can get MASN since I’m in Sux market and don’t yet have the sports pak or Extra Innings.

  26. pete2 April 2nd, 2014 at 7:50 pm

    ” trisha – true pinstriped blue April 2nd, 2014 at 7:47 pm

    “The ump has cost Jiminez at least 8 called strikes per game day”

    Electronic balls and strike calling is the only answer. It’s probably a bit away, but it will come here some day.”

    You think Bid and his cronies are too dumb to create an algorithm where the pitch location you think you see on gameday is not the actual location?

  27. Jerkface April 2nd, 2014 at 7:51 pm

    We have to remember too though that Jimenez never really had a spring training.

    I think you’re thinking of Ervin Santana. Jimenez pitched 15.1 non-minor league game innings in spring this year, which is pretty normal.

  28. trisha - true pinstriped blue April 2nd, 2014 at 7:51 pm

    “C’mon Trish…admit it…you’ve got that Big Papi Jersey framed on your wall ;)

    Yeah, and I throw poison darts at it every night. :)

  29. Howler April 2nd, 2014 at 7:52 pm

    hmm…I guess considering the year he had, voodoo priestess your not.

  30. pete2 April 2nd, 2014 at 7:55 pm

    ” trisha – true pinstriped blue April 2nd, 2014 at 7:50 pm

    “Don’t know if I can get MASN since I’m in Sux market and don’t yet have the sports pak or Extra Innings.”

    You are a slave to NESN then, as I once was and have never recovered. I am getting MASN on cable in Taiwan but mlb.tv is an option when they show NESN

  31. trisha - true pinstriped blue April 2nd, 2014 at 7:56 pm

    When did the Orioles sign Jimenez? I thought it was on the late side. He definitely wasn’t there when pitchers and catchers reported.

  32. 28in14 April 2nd, 2014 at 7:57 pm

    Does anyone remember what sent Jimenez career into a downward spiral?

    He started off one season a few years ago dominating opponents through the first 15 starts, then he faced the…

  33. pete2 April 2nd, 2014 at 7:57 pm

    ” warriors1965 April 2nd, 2014 at 7:52 pm

    I like watching good baseball players. And both of them are far better hitters than anyone on the Yankees.
    =====================

    Pedroia is helped by the Pedroia strike zone and Ortiz is clearly juicing.

  34. Jerkface April 2nd, 2014 at 7:57 pm

    When did the Orioles sign Jimenez? I thought it was on the late side. He definitely wasn’t there when pitchers and catchers reported.

    Feb 17, so he missed nothing really.

  35. trisha - true pinstriped blue April 2nd, 2014 at 7:59 pm

    “I like watching good baseball players. And both of them are far better hitters than anyone on the Yankees.”

    Would it bother you if you thought any of the good baseball players you watched, those being better than anyone on the Yankees, were juicing? Or do you just like watching “good” baseball players? Just curious.

    **************

    “You are a slave to NESN then, as I once was and have never recovered. I am getting MASN on cable in Taiwan but mlb.tv is an option when they show NESN”

    Oh pete2, then you definitely know what I mean about Orsillo’s voice and calls of the game. In a minute I’m going to add the sports pak. I have time to decide on Extra Innings. This way I will at least get YES pre and post if I care to watch it.

    Here’s the most hideous blow of all. When the Ys play the Sux, I am FORCED to watch NESN unless it’s a national broadcast. But I never get to watch YES.

    I must have been an ax murdered in a previous life.

    :(

  36. trisha - true pinstriped blue April 2nd, 2014 at 8:00 pm

    ax murderer

  37. trisha - true pinstriped blue April 2nd, 2014 at 8:01 pm

    “Does anyone remember what sent Jimenez career into a downward spiral?”

    An injury when he was with the Rocks. He was basically never the same since. I’m pretty sure he also had another injury or a problem with the previous injury where his finger or nail on his pitching hand was splitting every time he pitched, and he tried to pitch through it. Something like that.

    So unfortunate because he was on an amazing run.

  38. 28in14 April 2nd, 2014 at 8:02 pm

    No. He faced the Red Sox, they pounded him (he may have been injured in that game) and he was done.

  39. balotin April 2nd, 2014 at 8:03 pm

    Trisha pinstripe took an axe,
    And gave Pedroia forty whacks;
    When she saw what she had done,
    She gave that jerk Ortiz forty-one.

  40. trisha - true pinstriped blue April 2nd, 2014 at 8:06 pm

    “No. He faced the Red Sox, they pounded him (he may have been injured in that game) and he was done.”

    If you knew why did you ask? And you’re wrong, unless he got injured when he was still with the Rockies and they were playing the Sux that night. In any event, who cares who they were playing. He was never the same after getting hurt while playing for the Rockies. Period.

  41. Shame Spencer April 2nd, 2014 at 8:08 pm

    According to Pettitte, Derek Jeter uses the word ‘dude’ on the regular.

    Also, not that I’m too miffed to have missed it, but I thought a part of this whole celebrating Jeter thing meant we’d actually get to see the ceremonies lol…?

  42. Shame Spencer April 2nd, 2014 at 8:09 pm

    :arrow:

  43. Hassey April 2nd, 2014 at 8:09 pm

    Most shaved heads on any Yankee roster all-time

  44. Hassey April 2nd, 2014 at 8:10 pm

    Is that bo porter or Eriq Lasalle?

  45. pete2 April 2nd, 2014 at 8:12 pm

    Nelson Cruz.

  46. JonahFalcon April 3rd, 2014 at 9:05 pm

    Beltran swinging out of his shoes.

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