Friday, February 13, 2015

McCann looking to improve against shift in 2015

Hitting into the shift was definitely a recurring issue for Brian McCann last season, but the 30-year-old Yankees catcher is looking to adjust to it this time around.

McCann will attempt to beat the shift more in 2015 after the negative effects it had on his numbers last year, he said when working out in Georgia earlier this week.

"Now that the shifting's involved, it's time for me to take a step back and figure it out," McCann told The New York Post Wednesday. "Now I've got to beat the shift. I've hit a certain way for nine years. The shift obviously is more advanced."

McCann was usually one to pull the ball last season -- something which frequently kept him off base. Facing opponents who tended to play each of their infielders on the right side including their second baseman on the outfield grass, McCann often struggled to make good enough contact to beat defenders -- resulting in a large number of groundouts. 

But since that kind of play leaves the other half of the field virtually unguarded, McCann says he will try to counter it by shortening his swing. 

"Not just go up there and look for my pitch," he said. "Shorten up sometimes and take that hit to left. The more times you do that, they'll stop shifting."

McCann batted just .232/.286/.406 with 23 home runs and 75 RBI for the Yankees last year -- stats many found to be disappointing. McCann signed a five-year/$85 million deal with the team last winter -- a contract that seemed to command more production. 

And McCann wants to put up just that in the upcoming season, but admits he will have to change his approach if he's going to do so.   

"I hit .290, .280, now you're hitting .240, .230," McCann said. "It's time for me to make that adjustment, and I went into this offseason, and that's where I'm at."

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Sorry for the Capatcha... Blame the Russians :)