With help from Long, Ellsbury busts out of slump
NEW YORK -- Ten days have passed since Yankees hitting coach Kevin Long squinted into a video screen at Chicago's Wrigley Field, searching for a hitch in Jacoby Ellsbury's swing that might have been responsible for the outfielder's offensive funk.
After searching frame by frame footage for about 45 minutes, Long said that he discovered Ellsbury's bat was wrapping slightly behind his helmet, creating some unwanted length in Ellsbury's swing.
"It was very difficult [to spot]," Long said then. "Everything looked pretty similar to what he was doing earlier."
The tip seems to have registered. Ellsbury has at least one RBI in six of his last seven games since May 23, batting .286 (8-for-28) with a double and a home run, coming out of a stretch that saw him go a career-long 16 games without an RBI.
"He's swinging the bat better. It's just what happens," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. "This guy is a very good hitter and you're not going to keep him down forever. He just went through a funk and he's out of it."