Sunday, May 1, 2011
Jeter's AVG dropping, but Long optimistic
After another 0-for-3 day on Sunday, Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter heads home to Michigan to face the Tigers with his average at .242. While Jeter hasn’t quelled any fears of a slowed bat with this slow start after his mediocre 2010 season, hitting coach Kevin Long thinks Jeter is on the cusp of putting it all together.
"His at-bats have been better. He seems to be more comfortable at the plate. I see his BP being really good right now,” Long said. “I'm waiting for that game to come where he drives a few balls and kinds of turns it around like everybody else. I'm comfortable where he is at and what he is doing.
"He is repeating and doing what is best for him and for the ballclub right now."
Jeter dropped to 4-for-21 on the Yankees' seven-game homestand. Manager Joe Girardi said he wants to see 100 to 150 at-bats before he properly evaluates Jeter, but the captain is quickly approaching that number.
The 36-year-old has 95 at-bats on the season, with just 23 hits. While he’s never been known as a slugger, Jeter has just two extra-base hits on the season and is the only Yankees regular starter without a home run. After Sunday, his slugging average dropped to .263 on the season. Jeter has struggled to drive the ball with authority early in the season.