Jeter finding his power as he hits his 4th HR
July, 26, 2011
By Matt Ehalt | ESPNNewYork.com
The power is starting to return to Derek Jeter's bat.
The Yankees shortstop clubbed his fourth home run of the season and continued his hot hitting since he returned from the disabled list with a 2-for-5 night on Monday in the Yankees' 10-3 win over the Mariners.
Jeter is batting .324 with nine extra base hits since he came off the disabled list on July 4.
"I've felt good for a while," Jeter said. "I'm happy with my at-bats right now."
In 62 games before landing on the disabled list with a right calf strain on June 14, Jeter had 12 just extra base hits and two home runs, which both came in the same game.
In his 17 games since returning, Jeter has hit just as many home runs and is slugging over .130 points higher while nearly matching his extra base hits in less than a third of the games played.
Monday night, Jeter went to the opposite field with both his extra base hits.
He swatted a solo home run to right field in the third inning to give the Yankees a 3-1 lead and later hit an RBI triple to right field to score the Yankees' 10th run of the night.
Jeter finished with three RBIs on the night and it's the first time he's tripled and hit a home run in the same game since 2010. The three RBIs match a season-high, which he has accomplished twice before.
"For me, it's more how I take pitches," Jeter said when asked how he knows he's locked in. "I can tell if I'm staying back, taking pitches and swinging at good pitches and I felt as though I've been doing that for the last few weeks," Jeter said. "I'm happy with where I'm at right now."
Yankees manager Joe Girardi said he's seen Jeter hit with more power to right field recently and said Jeter is just swinging the bat really well. Girardi also said that Jeter is hitting like the Yankees are accustomed to seeing him swing the bat.
Teammate Mark Teixeira has also noticed a boost in Jeter's power since his time off.
"Sometimes, a little DL stint is good for you," Teixeira said. "It's a long season, it's a grind and we work all the time to prepare for a long season so when you do get two weeks off, you come back refreshed and his bat definitely has been refreshed."