First Pitch: Kruk says Jeter could hit .400

April, 10, 2012
4/10/12
7:00
AM ET
John Kruk was on "Baseball Tonight" just after midnight saying Derek Jeter could hit .400 this season. I think Kruk was kidding, but he kept saying it, so who knows?

This is what I do know: Jeter is a different player than at this time last year. A year ago, his body looked lifeless. He played like Superman on Planet Krypton. It seemed as if he had no strength left.

Then he got his 3,000th career hit and he turned back into Jeter. He hasn't looked back since. In the spring, he hit just as well and he may just take it through a whole season.

Now, there will be a time where we -- and others -- question Jeter's ability to play anymore, but it is starting to feel a long way off. Even at the age of 37.

As for .400, I don't think there is any chance he can hit .400. He probably should work on batting .300 for the first time since 2009 before that is even mentioned. That (.300), to me, is in play, which seems amazing given how Jeter was swinging from last April to July.

By the way, after Jeter's 4-for-4 on Monday night, he is at .412 on the season.

UP NOW: My column on Jeter and Ivan Nova and the Yankees' first win of the season, and the power of believing. Also, Mark Simon's breakdown of Nova's win.

ON DECK: The Yankees and Orioles go at it in the second game of this three-game series on Tuesday night, with Freddy Garcia facing Wei-Yin Chen. Chen will be making his major-league debut. He is not really considered the Orioles' No. 5 starter -- Buck Showalter, the Orioles' manager, put him in the No. 5 spot because he wanted him to see what the major leagues look like before taking the mound. Chen, 26, had a 2.48 ERA in the Japanese League last season. We all know the Yankees sometimes have trouble when they haven't seen a pitcher before.

Garcia entered spring training intent on winning a job. For the second consecutive year, he broke a career-long characteristic by pitching well in training camp. He had a 3.71 ERA in 17 innings, and even threw a bit higher, approaching 90 miles per hour on some days.

IN THE HOLE: Simon will get you ready for Game No. 5 of the season at 11 a.m. with his W2W4 (What To Watch For), which is a must-read to prepare for any game. We will be on the blog all day and night. Thanks for reading.

QUESTION OF THE DAY: What do you think Jeter could hit this year?
Andrew Marchand is a senior writer for ESPNNewYork. He also regularly contributes to SportsCenter, Baseball Tonight, ESPNews, ESPN New York 98.7 FM and ESPN Radio. He joined ESPN in 2007 after nine years at the New York Post. Follow Andrew on Twitter »

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TEAM LEADERS

BA LEADER
Jacoby Ellsbury
BA HR RBI R
.288 14 64 64
OTHER LEADERS
HRM. Teixeira 20
RBIJ. Ellsbury 64
RB. Gardner 81
OPSB. Gardner .787
WM. Tanaka 12
ERAH. Kuroda 3.88
SOM. Tanaka 135