Adjustments lead to Headley's strong start

Yankees third baseman benefits from mechanical tweaks

April 14th, 2017

NEW YORK -- The main video board at Yankee Stadium measures 59 feet by 101 feet, making the in-game display of a player's batting average roughly the size of a four-door sedan. Yankees third baseman is glad he doesn't have to try to ignore those numbers from the batter's box this April.

"I don't know if I would say I needed one, but it's sure nice to have a decent start compared to the last couple of years," Headley said. "Obviously, there's a long way to go, but it feels good to come out of the gate a little bit better than I did the last time."

Headley is batting .400 (14-for-35) with nine runs, two doubles, two homers, three RBIs and six walks through 10 games, which is a stark contrast from his miserable first month a year ago. He did not log an extra-base hit until May 12 last season, batting .150 (9-for-60) in the season's first month.

In addition to earning a few hits against a shift, Yankees manager Joe Girardi suggested that Headley has made mechanical tweaks at the plate to utilize his legs more, but Girardi isn't sure if that's what is responsible for the difference.

"I wish I knew, because if I knew, no one would ever get off to a bad start," Girardi said. "It's just part of the game. Everything is over-analyzed at the beginning of the year. For him, it's a minor adjustment, he's off to a good start and he feels good."

Headley would love to keep seeing results, like his home run off the Rays' Alex Cobb on Monday in the Bronx, which rocketed off his bat at 107.9 mph, according to Statcast™. Headley only hit four balls harder all of last season.

"At some point in the last couple of years, I've felt like I haven't done as good a job with my legs, hitting-wise," Headley said. "That was something that I wanted to improve on. I think that's helped some."

Bombers bits

• Shortstop Didi Gregorius (right shoulder strain) is continuing his rehab program at the club's player development complex in Tampa, Fla. Girardi said that Gregorius has been swinging the bat and taking ground balls, while also throwing at distances up to 120 feet. Gregorius is expected to rejoin the big league team in early May.

• Catcher (right biceps strain) took light swings in a pool on Friday, but he has not yet been cleared to throw. Sanchez was injured while taking a swing in an April 8 game at Baltimore, and he was expected to rest his arm for a week to 10 days.