Slump won't alter Duncan's approach

Slump won't alter Duncan's approach

NEW YORK -- Shelley Duncan, a sensation at the plate and a hit with Yankees fans for his intensity and enthusiasm after being called up to the Majors last season, is dealing with his current struggles the same way he would if he were still in the Minor Leagues.

Duncan, who has recorded a hit in each of the past three games he has played, entered Saturday batting .190 with one double and one RBI across 21 at-bats in limited playing time with New York this season. The first baseman batted .257 with seven homers and 17 RBIs in 34 games with the Yankees last season after slugging 25 homers in 95 games at Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.

"There are two kinds of adjustments to make," Duncan said before the Yankees hosted the Mariners at Yankee Stadium on Saturday. "One is adjustments within. You need to make those adjustments the same way you would at any level.

"And there's the adjustment to how they pitch you, what the pitcher has and how he is attacking you -- that sort of stuff.

"You need to differentiate between the two. When a pitcher is carving and make you look silly, a lot of times it's nothing to do with yourself, so you don't need to worry about it. There is no need to get panicked."

Duncan, the son of former catcher and current Cardinals pitching coach Dave Duncan and the brother of Cardinals outfielder Chris Duncan, said he's sometimes making outs on tough pitches and simply having tough at-bats.

"You don't have to make adjustments," Duncan said. "It's a feel. You mentally look at it objectively and analyze how you are being approached ... the results, how you take pitches, how you see the ball, if the contact you are making is the way you want to make contact."

For now, at least, Duncan seems at peace and is content.

"I think people who come up here and maybe think it's different, I think that's where they get in trouble," Duncan said. "Really, it's the same. Your objective at the plate is to get a good pitch and hit it hard somewhere."

Kit Stier is a contributor to This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.