A few snippets from an article about Blue Jays hitting coach Dwayne Murphy and his "grip it and rip it" philosophy.
I thought it was interesting as it seems to go against the growing trend of OBA and taking a lot of pitches.
The no-name, some-game Jays – none is in the top four of the AL All-Star balloting through this week – have adopted a single, simple strategy: Get ready, get a pitch, swing hard.
“Murph’s a big believer in getting started early and letting it fly,” said Vernon Wells(notes), the club’s resurgent cleanup hitter. “If you know anything about him, he didn’t hold anything back at the plate. He expects the same out of us.”Through Tuesday night, when Jose Bautista(notes), Aaron Hill(notes) and Jeremy Reed(notes) went deep in Anaheim for the entirety of the Jays’ scoring against Angels starter Ervin Santana, you could find Murph men ranking first (Bautista, 15), fifth (Wells, 11) and eighth (Alex Gonzalez, 10) in the AL in home runs. Four Jays are in the top 20 and eight in the top 31. You could also find the Jays – as a whole – second in the major leagues in strikeouts, 25th in batting, 22nd in walks and 29th in on-base percentage.
“I think on-base percentage is an overrated stat,” Murphy said flatly. “Those guys getting on base, most of them aren’t getting them in. Give me somebody who drives them in after that. I need guys who can drive the ball.”
Bautista recited the mantra: Get ready, get a pitch and swing hard.
“You can’t change these guys’ swings,” Murphy said. “Their swings are their swings. You can’t do much. You change a guy’s mechanics and by game time they revert back to what they were. It’s the hardest thing to do. Guys are taught, ‘See the ball, let it travel,’ a lot of terms. Instead of, ‘Get ready, get a good pitch to hit and barrel it up.’
“I’m not going to make Jose Bautista a .300 hitter. He’s a .240 hitter. But, he’s a .240 hitter who can do some damage.”