Jack Eliot: I'm a World Series MVP!
Skip: That was four years ago, Jack. Last season, you hit .235.
Jack Eliot: LAST SEASON, I led this team in ninth-inning doubles in the month of August!
---Mr. Baseball 1992
Old school 1983 (09-22-2013)
"The problem with strikeouts isn't that they hurt your team, it's that they hurt your feelings..." --Rob Neyer
"The single most important thing for a hitter is to get a good pitch to hit. A good hitter can hit a pitch thatís over the plate three times better than a great hitter with a ball in a tough spot.Ē
But I don't really think "protection" is the issue here, and neither are RH/LH splits. Actually, Bruce is one of the better LH hitters in the league against LH pitching, so now that he is hitting behind Votto, we've already got a pretty darn good combo. But yeah, throwing in another .800+ bat would really help things out. The Ludwick injury looms huge in that regard (assuming he'd have been able to keep being that).
I have to wonder though, how much the Cards success has to do with their 2 strike approach or how much it has to do with their overall hitting ability.
To me, it seems that if your offense is heavily relying on its 2 strike hitting ability (by nature, a very low scoring situation), they're probably by nature very flawed and that a lot of success based on that has to do with the random variability of balls in play falling in for hits (ie BABIP luck).
I do believe the Reds offense is seriously flawed. It isn't a terrible offense. But it is very flawed.
The reason is that it doesn't have enough productive hitters. Period.
Not because of Ks. Cozart and Mesoraco don't have very high K rates, but neither has hit much. Frazier's K rate is a bit higher, but not bad for a power man; he just hasn't hit much.
The only real high K guy this year is Bruce and he compensates to some extent with power.
The reason the offense is seriously flawed is that LF, 3B, 2B, and C haven't hit sufficiently well. In each case there are other reasons. For example, all the grounders Frazier and Cozart have hit this year, particularly Frazier whose ground ball rate has hurt his power production. Hanigan's lack of power is another example.
Any team so dependent on about three hitters, sometimes four, is flawed. It's not a recipe for success ultimately. But it's more than just K rates in this case.
Last edited by Kc61; 09-14-2013 at 11:06 PM.
Dusty's not suggesting that guys shorten their swings, he's not suggesting that they stop swinging hard....he's suggesting that they stop swinging and missing at balls out of the zone and that when it's 2 strikes and it's in the zone...take the bat off your shoulder. In what way is that going to hurt ANY players production? He's not promoting a change to overall approach at all. But letting strike 3 sail past you and you just keep your bat on your shoulder...that's extremely unacceptable. How that can be argued is beyond me.
Roy Tucker (09-14-2013)
"This isnít stats vs scouts - this is stats and scouts working together, building an organization that blends the best of both worlds. This is the blueprint for how a baseball organization should be run. And, whether the baseball men of the 20th century like it or not, this is where baseball is going."---Dave Cameron, U.S.S. Mariner
You guys can pee for a really long time.
Wonderful Monds (09-14-2013)
I think it's pretty thin to suggest every hitter is going up to the plate changing his approach in certain situations. I think most people are too hard on Chris Heisey, but let's be honest, Heisey goes up looking for a pitch to rip at and does. He's really not changing his approach very often. Jay Bruce usually is trying to whack it 500 feet most of the time (and very nearly does sometimes). I don't think Bruce very consistently shortens up his swing in those situations. Too often he's looking for a 3-run dinger. That's not to say he hasn't done better and isn't trying ever, but I don't think he does it nearly as often as he could.
Guys like Jay Bruce don't have to cease being Jay Bruce. With two strikes, they could shorten up and be even more productive than before. The fact is that guys at this level should be good enough to make that adjustment, since even the free swingers swing and miss only 15-18% of the time on strikes. I also think sometimes this whole "inflate the opposing pitcher's pitch count" approach has conditioned too many hitters to miss some really fat pitches early in the count that otherwise could be deposited down the line or in the outfield bleachers. Point is, sometimes the biggest damage being done with strikeouts is being too selective to begin with.
Last edited by Brutus; 09-14-2013 at 11:15 PM.
"No matter how good you are, you're going to lose one-third of your games. No matter how bad you are you're going to win one-third of your games. It's the other third that makes the difference." ~Tommy Lasorda
One area in particular is catching. The Reds catching has among the worst offensive numbers in the major leagues. It may be a defensive position, but other clubs are getting much more hitting from their backstops.
Obviously, there are other weak areas too, catching just would be high on my list to think about.
I guess we disagree on these hitters and what they can realistically do to improve. I don't pretend to know what Heisey and Bruce are thinking or doing in each and every situation, but I assume that if they could be .900+ OPS guys they would. They aren't idiots.