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 Post subject: Vestiges of the steroid era?
PostPosted: Fri Jun 28, 2013 10:15 am 
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http://triblive.com/sports/pirates/4246 ... z2XVn2FBSI

Clint says that aluminum bats play a significant role.

I say it's the remnants of "chicks dig the long ball" and ESPN's highlights. It's the MLB equivalent of the decline in basketball players' ability to hit the 18 foot jump shot. If its not an upper deck HR (or a dunk or 3 point bomb), it's not "sexy" or highlight worthy.

Pedro Alvarez or Manny Machado?

(BTW, this stuff is far more interesting to me than any journalist's bent on the world. Vowed last night to re-focus on "real" baseball stuff. I really don't give a rat's flying ass if Law, Smizik, Biertempfl, Kovacevic, Gammons, Olney, Stark, Williams or whomever thinks that the Pirates are contenders, pretenders or whatever. I have read and will continue to read all of their work because - that's what I do in the summer. But - I decided last night that if any Pirate fan (or supposed Pirate fan) can't find any fun with what has happened in the first 78 games this year and what may lie ahead, that's their problem. Not mine. And I don't care about the past 20 years. That's done. Over. Can't be changed. I don't care about guys like LaRoche (both of them),Moss, Overbay, Iwamura, Hinske, MaGahee or Hawpe. Bitching about the past doesn't change it and it doesn't mean that Liriano, Martin, Burnett or Rodriguez are going to suddenly suck. I don't care anymore about whether Weiters could have been drafted or whether the Cain, ZVR, etc. strategy was ill-conceived in hindsight. I could choose to stew in the past or I can choose to enjoy the now. I pick the latter. Doesn't mean that I won't lose my head when the Pirates K 15 times in a game. Doesn't mean that I won't worry if they lose 3 consecutive series. But, I'm not going to allow for the past to destroy my present fun. Off the soapbox .... )

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Obsessive proponent of situational bunting and 2 strike hitting approaches, reflexively pro-catchers calling good games and tasteless proponent of the value of a RBI.


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 Post subject: Re: Vestiges of the steroid era?
PostPosted: Fri Jun 28, 2013 10:37 am 
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I've been talking about "hitting the ball the other way" for a couple of years now, and it's frustrating to watch opposing pitchers continue to work away in the zone and get Pirates' hitters to: (a) strike out, (b) ground out weakly to second base, or (c) hit a pop up. I'm hoping Jay Bell is talking to the guys and pounding it into their heads to allow the ball to get a little deeper and hit the ball where it's pitched.

As a side note, I think everyone -- even those who harbor criticisms and concerns about the PBC's front office -- is enjoying the 2013 Pittsburgh Pirates.


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 Post subject: Re: Vestiges of the steroid era?
PostPosted: Fri Jun 28, 2013 10:42 am 
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Quote:
Pirates third baseman Pedro Alvarez often is shifted upon by opponents because of his pull-heavy approach. Despite enjoying a higher average to the opposite field — he has a career .337 batting average on balls to left field and .234 to right — Alvarez refuses to alter his approach. He says he doesn't want defenses to dictate his approach.


This is what drives me insane with Alvarez and why I don't consider him one of my favorite Buccos (even though he is one of the most important). He could make his life 1000 x's easier if he laid down a bunt towards 3rd base every now and then. If the defense is forced to play him straight up he will see more line drives and bloops fall in. It's like a defense in football putting 10 men in the box and the offensive coordinator saying, "No way, we still have to run the ball up the gut because it's our gameplan."

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 Post subject: Re: Vestiges of the steroid era?
PostPosted: Fri Jun 28, 2013 12:26 pm 
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Pedro says he's not going to "let the defense dictate" to him.

Despite the fact that he can hit HR's the other way.

Despite the fact that the article pointed out his BA is 100 points higher going the other way than to the pull field.

Despite the fact that waiting on pitches on the outside corner and looking to hit it the other way leads to a better approach and more success vs. breaking pitches.

Despite the fact that the best hitters I have seen in my lifetime (Clemente, Boggs, Bonds) hit the ball on the outer part of the plate the other way.

Despite the fact that as a matter of physics (swing plane, ball location), trying to pull pitches on the outside corner leads to a significant number of ground balls to the pull side and swings-and-misses on breaking balls away.

I'm not picking on Pedro. Jones is also a notorious pull hitter. I am just pointing out that pulling pitches on the outer part of the plate is an approach that is proven to be not as successful as letting that pitch "travel" and driving it to the opposite field.


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 Post subject: Re: Vestiges of the steroid era?
PostPosted: Fri Jun 28, 2013 12:47 pm 
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IA Pirate wrote:
Quote:
Pirates third baseman Pedro Alvarez often is shifted upon by opponents because of his pull-heavy approach. Despite enjoying a higher average to the opposite field — he has a career .337 batting average on balls to left field and .234 to right — Alvarez refuses to alter his approach. He says he doesn't want defenses to dictate his approach.


This is what drives me insane with Alvarez and why I don't consider him one of my favorite Buccos (even though he is one of the most important).


IA -
Agree x 1,000,000.

IA Pirate wrote:
Quote:
Pirates third baseman Pedro Alvarez often is shifted upon by opponents because of his pull-heavy approach. Despite enjoying a higher average to the opposite field — he has a career .337 batting average on balls to left field and .234 to right — Alvarez refuses to alter his approach. He says he doesn't want defenses to dictate his approach.



What came first, the chicken or the egg?
What might be lost on these guys is that the defense is adjusting to Alvarez's tendencies, including his tendency to try to pull pitches on the outer portion of the plate. If he simply made life easier on himself and went the other way with those pitches (it is easier to hit an outside pitch up the middle or to the opposite field), he would not only be more successful on those pitches, but he would likely force opponents to abandon the shift which will . . . . guess what? . . . open up the right side of the field for pitches that he can pull. Alvarez ultimately dictates how he will be defended. If he wants to pull outside pitches and be a strict pull hitter, he'll hit about .215 for his career. If he can adjust, he'll be 40-60 points higher with a greater number of extra base hits.

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Obsessive proponent of situational bunting and 2 strike hitting approaches, reflexively pro-catchers calling good games and tasteless proponent of the value of a RBI.


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 Post subject: Re: Vestiges of the steroid era?
PostPosted: Fri Jun 28, 2013 1:15 pm 
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I don't think that is what Pedro means.

I believe what he is saying is that he has developed an approach, and he is not going to let defensive shifts make him shift that approach. That is what he did in the last couple years to great distress.

He has adjusted, apparently, his swing to flatten it and keep it in the hitting zone longer. If that means he hits more to LF, cool. But, I agree that I don't want him trying to change based on a defensive shift.

ZM

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 Post subject: Re: Vestiges of the steroid era?
PostPosted: Fri Jun 28, 2013 1:21 pm 
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ZelieMike wrote:
I don't think that is what Pedro means.

I believe what he is saying is that he has developed an approach, and he is not going to let defensive shifts make him shift that approach. That is what he did in the last couple years to great distress.

He has adjusted, apparently, his swing to flatten it and keep it in the hitting zone longer. If that means he hits more to LF, cool. But, I agree that I don't want him trying to change based on a defensive shift.

ZM


ZM -
I don't want Pedro to try to hit to left field on pitches that he should be trying pull. So . . in that vein . . . I don't want him to adjust his approach on those pitches.

However, I would like to see Pedro try to go to center and left field on outside pitches. I would want that regardless of whether the opponent is employing a shift.

I firmly believe that, if he could go center/left on outside pitches, he'd find that either (a) the shift would disappear (opening up the right side of the field) or (b) he be pitched primarily inside so that he hits into the shift (and I'm just fine with opposing pitchers pitching Alvarez inside - particularly at PNC Park).

So . . . adjust his approach BECAUSE of the shift? No. Adjust his approach REGARDLESS of the shift? Yes.

JMO.

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Reflexively, obsessively and tastelessly submitted,
No. 9
Obsessive proponent of situational bunting and 2 strike hitting approaches, reflexively pro-catchers calling good games and tasteless proponent of the value of a RBI.


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 Post subject: Re: Vestiges of the steroid era?
PostPosted: Fri Jun 28, 2013 1:33 pm 
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No. 9 wrote:
And I don't care about the past 20 years.


Me either....and it's so much easier to take the idk route the older you get... 8-) 8-) 8-)


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