Sunday, February 28, 2010

Johnson Trying To Get Ready For DH Role

From Bryan Hoch:
When your most important job assignment is getting into the batter's box, there can be a lot of down time. That's something that Nick Johnson is trying to get used to.

Back with the Yankees primarily as a designated hitter, Johnson can glance at the first baseman's glove in his locker and know it probably won't be seeing too many summer afternoons in the Bronx. But he just can't stow it away.

"I'll always take my ground balls," Johnson said. "I love going out there, but I know I won't be. I'll just get in a routine DHing, embrace it and get comfortable with it, and get four or five quality at-bats, whatever it is."


"I'll probably have to not think too much," Johnson said. "You'll have whatever it is between the at-bats, so you try not to beat yourself up over an at-bat. Maybe you take a peek at the video room here and there, but you don't kill yourself over something, because you can do it for a long time. You stay loose, stretch a lot, hit off the tee or do flips, and go get 'em."
Joe Girardi also spoke about Johnson's DH duties:
"It's something that we're going to work on getting him used to in [Spring Training]," Girardi said. "Physically, you would think that it's a little easier to stay healthier. It's something that he's going to learn how to do. He might take to it real quick, you never know."


"The only thing you can do is give him a lot of DH days in Spring Training, so he figures out what he's most comfortable doing in between at-bats," Girardi said. "I think sometimes guys can get too caught up with going to watch too much tape."
I expect Johnson to handle the DH role well. He seems to have the right attitude about it and I don't think he'll be hurt by all that time in between at-bats. As we all know Johnson has had a history of being injury prone, so the time away from the field will probably be a good thing.

What are you guys expecting from Nick Johnson in his return to Pinstripes?

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