Tigers leadoff man Austin Jackson tweaking swing

Associated Press  |  Last updated February 28, 2012
(Eds: Updates. With AP Photos.) The last thing that Detroit Tigers outfielder Austin Jackson wants to do is to get a leg up on the season. Jackson is making a change in his swing, forcing himself to keep his front leg down. Jackson said the change would not be drastic, but he struck out 181 times last season as a leadoff hitter and both he and the Tigers are eager for a change. ''We are excited that he's getting rid of the leg kick,'' manager Jim Leyland said. ''He knew he had to make a change and he had to want to change. We had to sell it to him.'' Jackson came to camp early to work on his new swing and he's getting positive reviews from teammates who want to see him set the table more for the powerful Tigers lineup. Of Jackson's 591 regular season at-bats last season, the 181 strikeouts were third-most in the majors. He struck out 19 times in 41 at-bats in the playoffs.. Jackson batted .293 in his rookie 2010 season after being traded from the Yankees in a multi-player deal involving Curtis Granderson, but he slipped to .249 last year. Tigers hitting coach Lloyd McClendon started working with his young player to adjust the swing, and Jackson has spent extra time in the batting cage. ''It isn't a big switch, but if it helps, I will do it,'' Jackson said. ''I need to get my timing down. I won't know much until I get to see how I do against live, real pitching, not just batting practice.'' The swing is also not as sweeping, much shorter than last year. Making contact and getting on base is Jackson's challenge this year, Leyland said. Jackson is a key to the Tigers lineup, which is loaded with power hitters but not a lot of speed. Jackson has 351 strikeouts in his first two years in the majors and only 49 steals. He's only been caught 11 times. ''I have a green light, but I am still learning how to steal bases,'' Jackson said. ''I am learning how to read pitchers and I know I can't run sometimes because of who is at bat. There's still a lot to learn and I can't run whenever I want.'' Notes: RHP Joaquin Benoit is throwing without pain, Leyland said. Benoit has been suffering from stiffness in the neck . Leyland said the Tigers will be spending extra time working on double plays this spring ... the Tigers agreed to terms with five players on contracts for the 2012 season: RHPs Collin Balester, Luis Marte and David Pauley, INF Danny Worth and OF Clete Thomas.
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

USOC says athletes concern about Zika shouldn't attend Games

Von Miller shares support for embattled Johnny Manziel

The Panthers had to use a silent snap count at the Super Bowl

Report: Lakers would fire Byron Scott to hire Luke Walton

Was Alain Vigneault right about NHL's lack of punishment towards Wayne Simmonds?

Seahawks’ Frank Clark rips Cam Newton ‘that boy a b—‘


Report: Tom Thibodeau has 'always wanted' Knicks job

Report: Luke Walton will not consider coaching offers until offseason

Budweiser: Peyton Manning not paid for Super Bowl beer plug

Archie Manning: 'I think Peyton's done in Denver'

Donald Trump: I told Tom Brady not to endorse me for President

Marshawn Lynch: Complicated and talented NFL anti-hero

Andre Drummond hits 70-foot buzzer beater to end 3rd quarter

Duke's Allen appears to intentionally trip Louisville's Spaulding

Candidates for New York Knicks head coaching job

Attorney alleges Johnny Manziel ruptured ex-girlfriend's eardrum

Jeanie Buss may clean house in Lakers’ front office

Lisa Ann wants to reward Emmanuel Sanders for Super Bowl win

WWE Superstar Daniel Bryan to announce retirement

Nine best and worst players from 2015 NFL playoffs

Rodman wants Phil Jackson to know he’s ready to coach Knicks

Wade Phillips trolls Cam Newton with dabbing tweet

Top defensive performances in Super Bowl history

FBI questions Jeremy Shockey about drug and gambling ring

Coldplay drummer thought Johnny Football was real name

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Was Alain Vigneault right about NHL's lack of punishment towards Wayne Simmonds?

Report: Knicks fire coach Derek Fisher

The best and worst commercials from Super Bowl 50

Best and worst from Super Bowl 50

Six best plays from Super Bowl 50

Eli doesn't look thrilled as Peyton wins Super Bowl

Did Beyonce almost fall down during Super Bowl halftime show?

Curry to serve as drummer for Panthers

Report: Marshawn Lynch plans to retire

The 14 biggest plays in Super Bowl history

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Follow Yardbarker