• The Jeter Meter Not Jumping Much

    Posted by on April 25th, 2011 · Comments (32)

    In his last 113 games, from June 15, 2010 through April 24, 2011, Derek Jeter’s BA/OBA/SLG line is: .254/.334/.315

    Over this span, he has just 2 homeruns and 22 XBH, in total, over 464 At Bats.

    At this point, he’s not getting on base often enough to bat at the top of the line-up and he’s showing zero pop (and has no business batting in the heart of the line-up.)

    If  Jeter keeps this pace over his next 40 games, Girardi has to start batting him 8th, no?

    Comments on The Jeter Meter Not Jumping Much

    1. #15
      April 25th, 2011 | 2:20 pm

      Kind of agree. You take out the bleeders, nubbers, gorks, and dribblers that account for nearly half of his times on base and it looks even worse. To me it’s as much about the OBP as anything. With the mashing going on behind him, if he can get on base at a ~ .370 clip, that will suffice and he’ll still score 100+ runs. Barring a better option, stick with him. I don’t want to screw with Granderson by putting him at the top, and Gardner’s line is worse that Jeter’s. If Gardner gets going and Jete’s still not getting it done, then yeah. Make the change.

      Like the saying goes in politics… You can’t beat something with nothing. Who better, given the choices?

    2. MJ Recanati
      April 25th, 2011 | 3:34 pm

      #15 wrote:

      if he can get on base at a ~ .370 clip

      Considering his walk rate is at an all-time low, it’ll be tough to get on base 37% of the time if he’s not hitting his way on.

    3. April 25th, 2011 | 3:37 pm

      Maybe Jeter just needs to find himself a Canadian Dr. Feelgood?

    4. MJ Recanati
      April 25th, 2011 | 4:17 pm

      Steve Lombardi wrote:

      Maybe Jeter just needs to find himself a Canadian Dr. Feelgood?

      Might as well. He’s not doing the team any favors as a $17M Rafael Santana right now.

    5. #15
      April 25th, 2011 | 4:22 pm

      @ MJ Recanati:
      Agreed. Being an aggressive hitter only works if you are a good hitter. Which he’s not;, at least not right now. No one is pitching around him at this stage. To pull off more walks, he’ll have to pass on first pitch fastballs, the thing he likes to swing at most. His bat has slowed some and he’s getting beat inside. He’s got all kinds of waggle in his hips and movement in his hands as the pitcher prepares to deliver. I think opening his stance a little would help, but he probably thinks that will hurt him as he tries to go to right field, i.e., his signature swing. He might also give in a little and try choking up a finger’s width or two. I’d also like to see him flatten his bat at address. He (and everyone else) have to get there eventually if they are going to make contact, so why not start there if you are struggling. His straight up and down bat position at address gives him one more move to have to make, and indications are clear, he’s not quick enough to get there anymore. Biggio made similar adjustments late in his career and it helped a bunch. All the things I’m saying will mean he’s less set up to hit the occasional home run. I personally don’t care if he never hits another dinger if he can hit .290+ and get his OBP ~ .370.

    6. MJ Recanati
      April 25th, 2011 | 4:35 pm

      #15 wrote:

      I personally don’t care if he never hits another dinger if he can hit .290+ and get his OBP ~ .370.

      Given his age and where he’s at right now, I’d absolutely settle for that too. Sure losing the pop would hurt a bit but, as you said, getting on base is his key function now, so as to maximize the damage done by the boppers behind him.

      I wish Jeter would make adjustments but he’s a stubborn SOB so I’m not terribly optimistic that he’ll ever change his approach at the plate.

    7. Corey Italiano
      April 25th, 2011 | 6:20 pm

      We can all agree, Jeter too, that last year was bad. Let’s throw that out. The guy’s 5 for his last 10, let’s let him have a chance to correct this seasons numbers.

    8. agsf
      April 25th, 2011 | 8:32 pm

      Corey Italiano wrote:

      Let’s throw that out. The guy’s 5 for his last 10, let’s let him have a chance to correct this seasons numbers.

      Make that 5 for his last 14 now. Or do we go back before he went 5 for 10 to make it look even worse. Small sample sizes are useless. We all know this. You can thrown out the last year and the beginning of this year, but you’re throwing out the only stats that matter.

    9. Corey Italiano
      April 25th, 2011 | 9:04 pm

      agsf wrote:

      Make that 5 for his last 14 now. Or do we go back before he went 5 for 10 to make it look even worse. Small sample sizes are useless. We all know this.

      I was just trying to be positive, which is not useless.

    10. LMJ229
      April 25th, 2011 | 9:30 pm

      I’d be surprised if Girardi ever dropped him in the order. It would create a media firestorm that both Girardi and Jeter want no part of.

    11. Garcia
      April 25th, 2011 | 10:21 pm

      @ MJ Recanati: I’m ‘sure’ no one has ever accused you of being a “stubborn SOB”.

      I work with this guy and I keep showing him how to best use a command line language to edit a file, but all he wants to do is ftp the file over to his machine, look at it in excel and do whatever he wants but only in his comfort zone. I feel he wastes valuable time doing by going through that process. The bottom line, you can know what’s better for someone and you can even call them a “stubborn SOB”, but ultimately people will do what makes sense to them.

      So the fact that he put into practice Kevin Long’s new approach during spring training, tried it for a short period of time and realized that it wasn’t something he felt comfortable. Isn’t that the antitheses of stubborn?

      Because I wouldn’t call my co-worker stubborn if he just once decided to edit the damn file from the command line.

    12. Scout
      April 26th, 2011 | 5:23 am

      I think the Yankees may be looking for a corner outfielder lead-off hitter type before the trade deadline this year.

      And who was the genius in the Yankee organization who decided it was a smart move to give Jeter a three/four year deal when no other team was bidding for his services? Would that be you, Randy Levine?

    13. Raf
      April 26th, 2011 | 7:27 am

      Garcia wrote:

      Because I wouldn’t call my co-worker stubborn if he just once decided to edit the damn file from the command line.

      If he insists on doing something that doesn’t work, or isn’t working, then why not?

      As for Jeter, it’s still kinda early, but I think I’ve been hearing boos. Again, I hope he turns it around and figures things out.

    14. Corey Italiano
      April 26th, 2011 | 7:42 am

      Garcia wrote:

      work with this guy and I keep showing him how to best use a command line language to edit a file, but all he wants to do is ftp the file over to his machine, look at it in excel and do whatever he wants but only in his comfort zone.

      You’re actually both wrong, the easiest, fastest, and best way to do this is to get an app like notepad++ with a sftp plug in so that you can have the most tools at your disposal.

    15. MJ Recanati
      April 26th, 2011 | 7:56 am

      Garcia wrote:

      So the fact that he put into practice Kevin Long’s new approach during spring training, tried it for a short period of time and realized that it wasn’t something he felt comfortable. Isn’t that the antitheses of stubborn?

      Trying Kevin Long’s approach was a good first step.

      Going back to an approach that clearly no longer works for him at his age and declining skill level, however, is an act of stubbornness. That doesn’t make him a bad person, just one that isn’t willing to keep an open mind. After all, he stayed with Long’s approach for all of, what, four weeks?

    16. G.I. Joey
      April 26th, 2011 | 9:21 am

      Raf wrote:

      As for Jeter, it’s still kinda early, but I think I’ve been hearing boos. Again, I hope he turns it around and figures things out.

      I booed him last night from the third baseline as loud as I could. This is what happens in NY when you don’t perform to expectations game after game. Then again, I also got overly excited when he hit the ball in the air.

    17. Evan3457
      April 26th, 2011 | 10:06 am

      Scout wrote:

      I think the Yankees may be looking for a corner outfielder lead-off hitter type before the trade deadline this year.
      And who was the genius in the Yankee organization who decided it was a smart move to give Jeter a three/four year deal when no other team was bidding for his services? Would that be you, Randy Levine?

      We do know that Hank/Hal opened the negotiations taking a hard line, with Cashman being used as the front man, but that withering media criticism made the organization back off some. With his 3000th hit coming this year, there was little chance they’d just let him leave.

      A side issue might be that free agents noticed the way they treated Jeter (JETER?!?), and were backing off the Yankees a hair; but I rate that low probability, low impact.

      Levine making the final call on this? Not likely; possible, but not likely. This has the earmarks of a Hank-led decision.

    18. Garcia
      April 26th, 2011 | 10:09 am

      Corey Italiano wrote:

      Garcia wrote:
      work with this guy and I keep showing him how to best use a command line language to edit a file, but all he wants to do is ftp the file over to his machine, look at it in excel and do whatever he wants but only in his comfort zone.
      You’re actually both wrong, the easiest, fastest, and best way to do this is to get an app like notepad++ with a sftp plug in so that you can have the most tools at your disposal.

      Pff, GUI tools/editors. vi man, it’s everywhere. :-)

    19. Garcia
      April 26th, 2011 | 10:13 am

      @ MJ Recanati:
      If you count spring training then way more than 4 weeks. No?

    20. MJ Recanati
      April 26th, 2011 | 10:36 am

      Garcia wrote:

      If you count spring training then way more than 4 weeks. No?

      Apparently he changed back to his original approach on April 5th (per the first article I’ve linked to below).

      http://tinyurl.com/5wsl8ko

      If spring training for non-pitchers began on February 19th (per the second article I’ve linked to below) and Jeter abandoned the approach on April 5th, then he stuck with the approach for six weeks instead of the four weeks I originally said.

      http://tinyurl.com/8f2a94

      A difference of two weeks doesn’t change my original point that he really didn’t give it much of a chance before he went back to doing what isn’t really working for him. And, going back even further, I called Jeter a stubborn SOB because he’s more or less committed to what was tried-and-true for him, even if he’s no longer the same player he used to be.

      I completely understand why Jeter is the way he is. Proud, accomplished athletes like him are always the ones that refuse to change because they’re so confident that they’ll always be great. It’s that kind of attitude that made them great in the first place. The problem, of course, is that these guys are always the last to know (or admit) that they’re washed up and that maybe an alternative approach could help prolong their careers a little bit.

      Like I said, it doesn’t make Jeter a bad person; it just makes him a lousy hitter…

    21. Corey Italiano
      April 26th, 2011 | 11:07 am

      Garcia wrote:

      Pff, GUI tools/editors. vi man, it’s everywhere.

      as a software engineer, I can tell you using VI is handicapping yourself.

    22. Evan3457
      April 26th, 2011 | 11:27 am

      MJ Recanati wrote:
      A difference of two weeks doesn’t change my original point that he really didn’t give it much of a chance before he went back to doing what isn’t really working for him. And, going back even further, I called Jeter a stubborn SOB because he’s more or less committed to what was tried-and-true for him, even if he’s no longer the same player he used to be.
      I completely understand why Jeter is the way he is. Proud, accomplished athletes like him are always the ones that refuse to change because they’re so confident that they’ll always be great. It’s that kind of attitude that made them great in the first place. The problem, of course, is that these guys are always the last to know (or admit) that they’re washed up and that maybe an alternative approach could help prolong their careers a little bit.
      Like I said, it doesn’t make Jeter a bad person; it just makes him a lousy hitter…

      Just posted this on another Yankee fan message board:

      Me? I knew the Yanks were taking a big risk signing Jeter to a multiyear deal; that he was very likely to be below replacement level by the end of it (you know, like Jorge) because there are very, very few players in major league history who could play well enough as a regular shortstop ages 36-39 to be an asset to the team. I also thought it was possible he could have a good year or two left in him; not nearly as good as 2009, but maybe about as good as 2008.

      But to do that, he’s going to have to adjust his batting style. He was uncomfortable with what Long wanted him to do…so he’d better find another adjustment he can live with, because he’s lost bat speed, and if he fails to “adapt to his new environment” (diminished bat speed), he’ll go the way of all living things that cannot adapt to a changed environment: (career) extinction. Simply quitting and going back to his usual style is not really an option here. He’s likely to heat up some as the season moves into the warm months, and lesser pitchers get more innings, but that will be minor improvement at best.

      He adapted defensively three years ago, and it brought significant improvement to his defensive game. He garnered much praise for that, and deservedly so. (Oddly enough, he’s off to a good start defensively this season in the BIS +/- and the UZR numbers, he’s slightly above average, but it’s only 20 games, so the numbers don’t mean much at all right now.) Now, he must do the same at the plate. His swing has always been somewhat long, and with diminished bat speed, he has to tighten it up somehow, or he’ll be driven out of the lineup no later than next season.

    23. MJ Recanati
      April 26th, 2011 | 11:51 am

      @ Evan3457:
      I agree with everything you wrote.

      It’s really two adjustments that Jeter needs to make: First, he needs to find a way to hit the ball someplace other than the ground because he’s pretty much an automatic out. Second, he needs to go back to being a more patient hitter, if only to give himself a chance to increase his BB% to what we’re more accustomed to seeing from him.

      Given the larger issue that Jeter seems to no longer be able to elevate the ball or hit line drives (causing him to repeatedly hit the ball into the ground for easy outs), an improvement in plate discipline will help him at least get on base via the walk which would restore at least some of his value as a batter.

    24. #15
      April 26th, 2011 | 2:10 pm

      He’s simply hitting the top of the baseball far too often, and on too many occasions he fails to hit the barrel, especially on inside pitches. In simple terms, he’s “not squaring it up”. Choking up a little improves bat control and would help both problems. A bit more of a crouch would help too, but that’s harder to change.

    25. MJ Recanati
      April 26th, 2011 | 2:22 pm

      #15 wrote:

      He’s simply hitting the top of the baseball far too often, and on too many occasions he fails to hit the barrel, especially on inside pitches. In simple terms, he’s “not squaring it up”. Choking up a little improves bat control and would help both problems. A bit more of a crouch would help too, but that’s harder to change.

      Agreed. So either we have an incompetent coaching staff that isn’t able to figure this out or we’re dealing with an intransigent old codger that refuses to accept reality or watch video of what’s going wrong.

      I imagine it’s the latter.

    26. Evan3457
      April 26th, 2011 | 2:34 pm

      It’s so hard for me to accept that Jeter is an “old codger”, but he really is, isn’t he.

      I still remember him as looked when he started the 1996 season. I remember that he was polished, but still a rookie, and how much I liked the way he battled in key spots. Waiting for him to break out into stardom was fun; you knew it was going to happen.

      Now, we’re waiting for his career to expire.

      Sigh. :(

    27. MJ Recanati
      April 26th, 2011 | 3:01 pm

      Evan3457 wrote:

      It’s so hard for me to accept that Jeter is an “old codger”, but he really is, isn’t he.

      It sucks, to be sure.

      He’s only 13 months older than me (and A-Rod is only 24 hours older than me) so I’m getting to that stage in life where all of my birth-peers are nearing the end of their careers.

      However critical I may appear to be with Jeter, it still isn’t very much fun watching one of the best all-time Yankees looking like Willie Mays in ’73 (from what I’ve been told, anyway…). Jeter literally can’t hit a lick anymore. If not for the quest to 3,000 hits, he’d be a guy that you’d have to bench.

    28. redbug
      April 26th, 2011 | 5:25 pm

      Give the man a chance. Year before last, Jeter hit .344 and was an MVP candidate. 2 games ago he went from batting .221 to .257. Yeah, last night he went 0fer. So, did most everyone else.

      It’s early folks.

    29. #15
      April 26th, 2011 | 6:12 pm

      @ MJ Recanati:
      I’ve been an unabashed fan of DJ for a long time. I put him right up there with Thurman as a baseball hero for how he played the game. Jete always showed class both on and off the diamond. No scandals with hookers (but an all star line up of starlets, thank you very much), no drunken brawls, no mysterious black eyes, no whiff of PED’s. For the last 11 years I’ve seen him hitting and fielding in early January, long before camp, and he never, ever came in out of shape. Always showed up when he was picked for an All Star team. I don’t remember a single time in 16 years that he failed run out a play. He played through injuries and never made excuses. And, he was instrumental to putting 5 rings on “our” fingers. Any fan of the game would have been happy to have him on their team.

      So, I’m hoping I’m right…. If he’s really cooked and can’t, or won’t, adapt/adjust, I still think he’ll walk away at the end of the season (this one or next one). He doesn’t need the money (like Willie Mays, or, say Ali, or Tyson, etc… did), he’ll have his 3000+ hits and reserved seating in Cooperstown, and I don’t think he’ll like being a guy that the rest of the team has to carry. The negative press will wear on him (as it would any other prideful star performer). Number 4, Number 5, Number 7, etc… all had to come to grips with the moment they couldn’t do it anymore. Or, more correctly, when they couldn’t do it at a level they’d be satisfied with. For the time being, if he can hit .250 & bat 9th, he won’t be much different than many other shortstops in the league. As many of you know, I’m not a fan of defensive stats. Other than going to his left, I still think he’s adequate in the field (last night aside, I also think he’s still better than average on fly balls and with some help from Tex, makes routine plays at an acceptable clip).

      We’ve seen enough, for long enough, to be reasonably sure it’s not just a slump. He’s had a step funtion drop off in bat speed and hitting. I don’t think he’ll ever hit .300 for a season again, and he’s not going to be getting 200 hits in a season anymore. He might not be there yet, but he’s got to be having doubts. If he plays out next year, he’d probably be ~ 3250-3300 hits +/-, among the elite of the elite. If he struggles too badly to get there, I think he’ll walk away.

    30. 77yankees
      April 26th, 2011 | 8:03 pm

      Well, they could bring Erick Almonte back.

      Bet you didn’t know he made Milwaukee’s Opening Day roster.

      http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/a/almoner01.shtml

    31. MJ Recanati
      April 27th, 2011 | 7:48 am

      redbug wrote:

      Give the man a chance. Year before last, Jeter hit .344 and was an MVP candidate.

      The problem is that 2010 looked a lot like 2008 and 2011 looks a lot like 2010. 2009 looks like the outlier in a trend of declining performances.

      Being two years removed from an MVP-caliber season doesn’t mean that Jeter isn’t looking washed up.

    32. Raf
      April 27th, 2011 | 8:23 am

      #15 wrote:

      Number 4, Number 5, Number 7, etc… all had to come to grips with the moment they couldn’t do it anymore. Or, more correctly, when they couldn’t do it at a level they’d be satisfied with.

      One a related note, has anyone taken a look at Mantle’s last year in the bigs? While he hit .247, he still had a pretty productive year (OPS+ of 142). Amazing considering all his physical ailments had caught up to him by that point. That was the year of the pitcher too.

      With the adjustment the leagues made after 1968 and expansion in 69 (Pilots & Royals), it would’ve been interesting to see what Mantle would’ve done.

      Jeez, you look at the numbers he and Ruth posted, it’s like they were men among boys.

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