“Sometimes you have to make minor adjustments,” Girardi said. “Sometimes you can watch video for hours until you find exactly what you’re looking for. He’s made some minor adjustments, and he’s swinging the bat better, and that’s a great sign.”It all depends on what is actually hurting Jeter this year. Is he just struggling and maybe swinging at a few too many bad pitches, or is he beginning his inevitable decline?
Of course, when Jeter was asked to elaborate on the adjustments, he turned it into a joke.
“Trying to bloop it over the pitcher’s head and into center field,” he said.
“Not only when you think you’re going bad,” he said. “I don’t necessarily change things based on results.”
If it's the former, staying with the approach that got him here is the thing to do. No need to change things because of a slump, even if it's a two month long slump. If it's the latter, then it certainly might be time for a change. We have all heard many times how Don Mattingly added to his production at the end of his career by adding a leg kick (thanks to Paul O'Neill).
As far as stats goes, his line drive percentage is at an all-time low at 17.7%, but that's just .2 points lower than the 17.9% he put up in 2007 when he hit .300. Onto a more negative sign, his ground ball % is way up to a career-high 66.8 and his fly ball % is at a career-low at 15.5%.
Honestly, and I'm not trying to be a blindly optimistic Yankees fan, but I do think a lot of this has to do with the number of bad pitches he's swinging at. Until this year he never had an O-Swing% higher than 23.7% (2007). That's the number of pitches outside the zone he's swinging at. This year, his O-Swing% is at 28.6, by far the highest of his career. This leads to bad counts on the ball he misses, and weakly hit grounders when he does make contact.
Jeter is now 5 for his last 14 (.357) so let's see what he does from here.
What do you think, is Jeter just having a bad year or is this a sign that he's no longer the hitter he once was?