Adjusted swing demands Jeter's patience

Adjusted swing demands Jeter's patience

LAKELAND, Fla. -- Derek Jeter still thinks about his adjusted stride when he steps into the batter's box, which is a good indication that the changes haven't completely set in yet.

Working with hitting coach Kevin Long to take back the inside part of the plate and avoid chopping pitches into the dirt, Jeter hasn't enjoyed terrific spring returns -- a grounded single on Monday and a smattering of other choppers in six at-bats. But it is early.

"It takes a while," Jeter said. "[Saturday] was the first time I've seen pitching with it. It's going to take a while to get comfortable. You have more time, because there's no stride. Now, you've just got to figure out when to swing."

The alterations are a continuation of an edit Jeter started in Texas last Sept. 11, when the captain rested with a .260 batting average and submitted his swing to Long for analysis, saying it had become "necessary" to switch things up.

Long suggested that Jeter eliminate the stride completely, and Jeter responded by hitting in 18 of the Yankees' last 19 games, batting .342 (27-for-79). Jeter said he can't estimate when he'll be able to feel completely comfortable with the new stance.

"You hope that it becomes second nature so you don't have to think about it," Jeter said. "The good thing is, my foot hasn't been moving. That's a step in the right direction, I guess. This is a first for me, so if I gave you a time frame, I'd just be guessing."