It’s no secret that Curtis Granderson has yet to live up to expectations this year with the Yankees. He has only managed to put up a .243 AVG and a .325 wOBA. Still, Granderson is far from a lost cause. At age 29, Granderson is still very much in his prime years, and the Yankees will have him under contract through the 2013 season. If Granderson start to produce more consistently and keep it up for the next few years everybody will forget about his first 89 games in pinstripes in which he struggled. Still, why has Granderson had such a poor year? Advanced statistics don’t really offer any clue into why Granderson has failed to hit well this year, but hitting coach Kevin Long is confident that he can get the Yankee center fielder going in the right direction.
Kevin Long and Curtis Granderson are working on what Long calls a “total reformation of the swing”. Who knows, maybe it could result in Granderson feeling comfortable at the plate and starting to really produce. It may be unorthodox to work on such a major change in the middle of a season (Kevin Long revamped Nick Swisher’s swing last year, but in the offseason), but the Yankees feel it is the right move. This past Tuesday and Wednesday Granderson did not start in the Yankees’ games because he had just begun working on the swing revamp. However, Granderson did start in yesterday’s game and his new swing was on display. It may not have been that noticeable, but Granderson was more quiet in his batting stance and his hands were held in a different position compared to his old batting stance. Obviously one game is not nearly enough to judge him on, but Granderson did well yesterday with his new approach in action. Curtis went 2-3 with a walk, a double, and a run batted in. Hopefully he can continue to put up similar results. Let’s get Kevin Long’s and Curtis Granderson’s take on the swing reformation.
“To do something like this, it’s a stretch. But it’s a stretch that I think is not going too far and I think he feels the same way… He’s had length to his swing for a long, long time. He’s been an all-star with length to his swing, but we’ve both decided at this point we want to shorten it as much as we can.”
“His stance is going to be a lot more square. His hands have changed their position. He’s holding on with two hands. His load to where he gets to contact, we’ve eliminated a lot of movement there. This takes time to do something like this, but we’re going to have five or six complete sessions. He did get into the game yesterday and had what I would call a pretty good at-bat.”
“I wouldn’t necessarily call it big changes. It’s just trying to simply things. Everything I’ve done up to this point is just trying to get to the point I want (to make contact)… and there’s always some moving parts before it. We’re just trying to eliminate some of those moving parts.”
“I’ve made changes throughout my whole career, I’ve been an unorthodox hitter. I’ve been a very routine and picture-perfect hitter as far as what everyone else is doing. And everything in between. Whenever someone says to make a change, I’ve always been a very adaptive player.”
It’s a good thing that Granderson is very accepting of the change and doesn’t even view it as a big change. Still, revamping a proven hitter’s swing in the middle of a season is a pretty big thing, but it’s great that Granderson is comfortable with it. Kevin Long has shown to really have a knack for improving hitters and I am very confident that he can improve Granderson’s swing and I won’t be surprised if he hits well from here on out. What’s your opinion? Do you think it is the right move to reform Granderson’s swing? Can he have a big turn around?