Our fearful trip is no where near done.
I don’t want to pile on Derek Jeter; I really don’t. I guess I just can’t help it. My dad and I were making a comment about his first at bat after dinner last night and my mother bemoaned our bemoaning. I replied that he’s finally deserving of it and that if it was any other player, he’d've been batting ninth for a month now. My dad said, “If it was any other player, he wouldn’t be making $50M and be here for the next three years…”
A turnaround from Derek Jeter would make me incredibly happy. If he’s hitting, chances are the team is doing well. All off season, I said that I knew Derek Jeter would bounce back from his poor 2010. That year was so bad that it couldn’t possibly get worse. Well, it’s gotten worse.
After last night’s 0-5, Jeter’s line sits at .254/.303/.316/.619, which is almost .100 points worse, OPS wise, than 2010. His IsoP? Worse. His wOBA? Worse. wRC+? Worse. His strikeout rate is lower, which is good, but his walk rate is worse. He’s hitting fewer line drives and more grounders, as well as more infield fly balls. This is bad, you guys. Really bad. Super bad. Mega bad. Bogus, even.
Since that two homer game, after which a certain New York tabloid who shall remain nameless declared Jeter was back, Derek has hit a cool .214/.253/.257/.510 (!!!!!). It is beyond clear that Jeter needs to be moved out of the leadoff spot immediately. His at bats have become painful to watch, especially considering how great he’s been for his career. He’s way out in front of breaking stuff, causing him to roll over on everything. He’s way behind fastballs, causing him to straight up miss the ball or foul off pitches he would’ve hit for doubles down the line earlier in his career. It’s clear there’s a more-than-serious issue going on with Derek, but what should be done about it? I’m not a scout, nor am I a coach. I can’t pretend to prescribe a fix for Derek Jeter, but I know Kevin Long is working on it.
Last night on Twitter, William and I discussed possible solutions. I relayed a suggestion my dad had: Maybe Derek should use a lighter bat. That could help him get around on fastballs. William suggested Derek start employing a more guess-heavy approach at the plate. What do you guys think he should do?
What I’m worried about is the possibility that there IS no fix for this. Maybe there is no cure for old age. Maybe this is the end.