Derek Jeter not worried about minor slump to start season

Eli Manning Peyton Manning
Eli Manning and Peyton Manning hang out at the Yankees game on Sunday.
Credit: Getty Images

Derek Jeter’s batting average has tumbled to .240 after he was 0-for-4 Sunday, making him hitless in his last 13 at-bats.

Seven of those at-bats came Friday, when he had seven at-bats in a game for the 16th time. That marked the first time Jeter didn’t get a hit when having seven at-bats.

Jeter is six for his last 36, so it’s natural to wonder about him since he will be 40 next month.

For now, nobody is concerned, though the concession is about why these questions are getting asked and, in his true close to the vest form, Jeter isn’t dwelling on it.

“I don’t think like you [media],” Jeter said. “I think positive.”

 

On the comeback

Players don’t usually enjoy the tedium of DL stints but when Mark Teixeira went on the disabled list April 5 with a strained right hamstring, the surgically repaired wrist was not entirely healed.

So to avoid further damage Teixeira compensated by getting into some bad mechanical habits at the plate.

“The first couple days of the season I was maybe protecting it a little bit, but when I came back from the DL it just started feeling better and I started having some good swings,” he said. “I got into such bad habits last year just protecting the wrist and my swing was awful. It really was.

“So you really just have to rebuild your swing to get back to being the hitter that I was before.”

After time off, Teixeira’s bat came alive over the weekend, especially in Saturday’s win when he hit a long two-run homer and drove in three runs. That marked his fourth home run in five games, something he last achieved in June 2011.

Teixeira will take a modest six-game hitting streak to Anaheim, where he reinjured the wrist after 15 games 13 months ago.

“The swing, the mechanics of the swing are getting better, but also getting stronger. I said right from the beginning when I went on the DL it could be a blessing in disguise, and I think it was. It allowed my wrist to take a little break and it felt stronger when I came back.”

 

Manning visits Yankee Stadium

Peyton Manning wasn’t yelling any of his famous “Omaha” audibles on Sunday. Instead he was at Yankee Stadium to see Jeter before appearing on David Letterman’s show Monday night.

“We’ve been good friends,” Manning said. “He’s a couple of years older than me. We’ve been pretty much professionals at the same time. I wanted to pay my respects to see him play for the last time.”

Jeter is 39, while Manning is 37. Manning took in the game from a suite and was joined by brother Eli, who is recovering from offseason ankle surgery.

“Eli feels good,” Manning said. “He was doing some light throwing the other day. Obviously, just upper body. He’s disappointed he has to miss some of the OTAs but it’s better than missing some of the games during the season.”

Follow Yankees beat writer Larry Fleisher on Twitter @LarryFleisher.



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