Culver Comfortable With The Decision

Culver won't be batting from the left side anymore

TAMPA, FL - Despite actually batting better against right-handed pitching last year, Cito Culver has given up his switch-hitting ways and is now batting exclusively from the right side, a decision that not only didn't come from the Yankees but one that Culver says he is extremely comfortable with this spring.

"It's going good," Culver said of camp. "I'm enjoying myself right now. I'm working on stuff and getting better everyday."

To say he's "working on stuff" is a bit of an understatement. A switch-hitter his entire life, even as recently as big league camp earlier this month, Culver has recently gone to hitting exclusively from the right side.

"After I came back from big league camp I sat down with a couple of [team officials] and we made the decision to stick right," he said. "I feel really comfortable with that decision. I feel really good."

A .221 hitter from the left side with the Charleston RiverDogs last year and just a .200 hitter from the right side, while the statistical evidence is not there right now to suggest it, Culver says he just feels more comfortable from the right side.

"I wouldn't say I was uncomfortable [batting left-handed] because I was comfortable but maybe I wasn't as consistent as I would be righty so that's what overall made the decision for me to talk to these guys about it," he revealed. "I just wasn't consistent enough and I feel like I'm way more consistent from the right side."

That's right, this decision was not passed down from the top or even internally discussed with the Yankee brass. This was a decision originated from Culver himself.

Seeking to become that consistent hitter he wants to be, Culver knows that giving up arguably his weakest side of the plate isn't a slam dunk decision. He realizes it is going to take some time facing right-handed pitchers from the right side for the first time since he was a little kid.

"There's definitely going to be a time period where some adjustments will have to be made but as of right now I feel really comfortable. I'm really confident with what I'm doing and with my approach. I feel really good."

He is starting to look good. He hit two balls incredibly hard on Monday against right-handed pitching, one of which was a missile line-drive hit directly to the right fielder and the other was a booming double over the left fielder's head.

"I feel a lot better [just hitting right-handed]," he said with a smile. "I feel a lot more confident at the plate knowing I can handle everything and I'm not afraid to miss a ball. I'm just really loose up there now, I really like it."

He still has a little more than a week left in camp before breaking with one of the minor league teams, most likely back with the Charleston RiverDogs. And after hitting just .215 there a year ago and posting lower power numbers, Culver can't help but feel his decision to give up switch-hitting was the prudent one heading into an all-important return trip to the South Atlantic League.

"I feel confident going into this season. I feel prepared, I feel ready. These guys do a great job of getting us ready for the season so wherever I'm at I'm going to do my best and help my teams win.

"I felt more powerful from the right and I was just more consistent from the right side. I always have been. I think [giving up switch-hitting] was going to happen eventually so I just wanted to speed up the process a little bit," he concluded.

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