Russell Martin feels “dangerous” after plate adjustment
Russell Martin has homered four times in his last six games and is batting .342 (13-for-38) over his last 12 games, boosting his average from .173 to .216. He spoke after Sunday’s game about a slight adjustment he has made at the plate:
“I’m starting to feel dangerous at the plate; more confidence. It definitely feels good. I felt a little bit lost early in the season but now I feel like I’m better. …
“I just backed off the plate a little bit. I felt like I was getting tied up inside and I felt like I was starting to pull off the ball early with my stride. Now I kind of just evened out my stride and I feel like I’m ready to drive the ball the other way more with more ease. I was fighting to do it before.”
Yankees hitting coach Kevin Long has worked with Martin, but said the idea of backing away from the plate a few inches was all Martin’s doing:
“It really helped him. Once he backed off the plate, it took care of his stride direction and it’s really opened up the outer half of the plate. It’s kept him on the ball. Obviously right field has helped him quite a bit at our place, but that being the biggest adjustment, it’s really helped him.”
Long said that Martin didn’t seem to be as frustrated by his sub-Mendoza Line performance earlier in the season as you might have suspected.
“Not as bad as you’d think. He wasn’t tearing things up. He was frustrated a little bit, but he kept believing that all his hard work … everything he’d done through the winter and up to this point … was going to pay off. It’s starting to show real good signs, especially this month. He’s been on fire.”