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It's Time
05-02-2008, 10:17 AM
Do you think his poor start is something to be concerned over or is this just a slump? Thus far I am not happy with Swish.

His OBP is good but his slugging and AVG are crap.

balke
05-02-2008, 10:32 AM
I'm very happy with him so far. He's a leadoff hitter, he's on base. I'd like some more HR's to show up. I'd like Thome to get Swish in with some hits too.

Defense has been pretty good, and he's been a spark plug on the bench. "swagger". He's also been eating up pitches and hitting the ball hard, just at people.

skottyj242
05-02-2008, 10:34 AM
I like the double guns ablazin' commercial.

voodoochile
05-02-2008, 10:37 AM
I think it's a lot of things inlcuding all the time he is spending in CF which may be taxing his physical abilities harder than when he was only doing it a few times a week. It's been a hard run to open the season too with some really long days due to rainouts and even a double header already.

He'll either fall into a groove or the the team will have to start moving him around a bit/giving him a few more days off to keep his legs fresh.

For now as along as he keeps reaching base, it's not that big of a deal. Hope his bat comes around but if he can set the table for the guys behind him, that's what this team needs.

Optipessimism
05-02-2008, 10:38 AM
He hits between Juan Uribe and Orlando Cabrera. That should say something.

He's not exactly the ideal lead-off hitter and would be better suited for the middle of the lineup, but we don't have a true lead-off man so he's our best option.

As far as his numbers, I'm not disappointed with him at all. He gets on base, he can work a pitcher, and he puts together good AB's.

kittle42
05-02-2008, 10:43 AM
As far as his numbers, I'm not disappointed with him at all. He gets on base, he can work a pitcher, and he puts together good AB's.

Agreed. His hits will come, but I believe he has adjusted his approach to fit the lead-off spot, and his 19 walks are a testament to that.

areilly
05-02-2008, 10:43 AM
Defense has been pretty good, and he's been a spark plug on the bench. "swagger".

I like that he grinds, and also that he knows how to play. He's definitely having fun out there, and I like his clubhouse presence as well.

TomBradley72
05-02-2008, 11:04 AM
He's a career .250 hitter...so he's only about 3 hits below hitting what we should expect. His OBP is about where we'd expect it to be, probably a little higher. Slugging is down about 100 points below his career average. I think we're seeing the impact of him be placed in the lead off position vs. further down in the order.

I agree that CF will take it's toll physically over time...especially with his all out style of play.

ondafarm
05-02-2008, 11:05 AM
I'm not disappointed at all.

He is playing a solid CF, which honestly has got to be taxing him physically and mentally. I haven't seen anything he completely fouled up in CF.

His lead off hitting, which is not his natural spot has been good, not great. His OBP is solid, which is the primary measure. Do I wish he had a higher average, sure, but his OBP is good which means he's doing his job. He scores runs like any lead-off guy should do.

His effect on team chemistry has been very positive. That was one big reason to acquire him.

He has been very flexible playing multiple positions as needed and doing well at all. That's not easy at the major league level.

angiew
05-02-2008, 11:13 AM
I'm not disappointed....I'm lovin' Swish!

Optipessimism
05-02-2008, 11:22 AM
Agreed. His hits will come, but I believe he has adjusted his approach to fit the lead-off spot, and his 19 walks are a testament to that.
Yep. He really has shown himself to be a team player.

I find the commercials with him to be lame and annoying, I can't stand hearing the Sox front office use words like "grinder" and "swagger," and most of all I think that if I hear Hawk ramble on about "child-like qualities" one more time my brain will explode and leak out my ears, but given all that, Swisher really is the type of player both in terms of quality and character that this team desperately needed.

FedEx227
05-02-2008, 11:22 AM
I could've sworn he was getting on-base at a .381 clip (currently his career high), he's doing his job as a leadoff hitter quite well, now it's the guys behind hims responsibility to get the hits.

FedEx227
05-02-2008, 11:23 AM
I find the commercials with him to be lame and annoying, I can't stand hearing the Sox front office use words like "grinder" and "swagger," and most of all I think that if I hear Hawk ramble on about "child-like qualities" one more time my brain will explode and leak out my ears, but given all that, Swisher really is the type of player both in terms of quality and character that this team desperately needed.

Swisher is the proto-typical bridge of the gap.

Stat guys like him because he has a high OBP, high OPS and old-school guys like him because he's a "GRINDER".

Optipessimism
05-02-2008, 11:25 AM
I'm not disappointed at all.

He is playing a solid CF, which honestly has got to be taxing him physically and mentally. I haven't seen anything he completely fouled up in CF.

His lead off hitting, which is not his natural spot has been good, not great. His OBP is solid, which is the primary measure. Do I wish he had a higher average, sure, but his OBP is good which means he's doing his job. He scores runs like any lead-off guy should do.

His effect on team chemistry has been very positive. That was one big reason to acquire him.

He has been very flexible playing multiple positions as needed and doing well at all. That's not easy at the major league level.

Totally agree with this. I've been pleasantly surprised with his defense in center as well. Imagine that! Three capable defenders in the OF and they all have arms!

Optipessimism
05-02-2008, 11:28 AM
Swisher is the proto-typical bridge of the gap.

Stat guys like him because he has a high OBP, high OPS and old-school guys like him because he's a "GRINDER".
True. He's one of those rare examples where his intangibles aren't mentioned solely to cover up his blatant deficiencies. He's good and he plays with a level of passion that can't be ignored.

soxfan21
05-02-2008, 11:32 AM
I could've sworn he was getting on-base at a .381 clip (currently his career high), he's doing his job as a leadoff hitter quite well, now it's the guys behind hims responsibility to get the hits.


I agree with you here. He gets on base enough, we just need some guys to key together some hits and get him in. I think that he is living up to what his past stats have shown. He's not hitting too well these last few games, but his hits will come. I like it that he gets on base a lot and usually works deep into counts.

FedEx227
05-02-2008, 11:36 AM
I agree with you here. He gets on base enough, we just need some guys to key together some hits and get him in. I think that he is living up to what his past stats have shown. He's not hitting too well these last few games, but his hits will come. I like it that he gets on base a lot and usually works deep into counts.

And that's his job, see a lot of pitches so we know what the opposing pitcher is throwing and to get on-base and I believe he's doing that quite well. Another reason batting average is really, really stupid... people are talking about him struggling, yet he's getting on-base at a career high rate.

Jaffar
05-02-2008, 11:38 AM
If Cabrera, Thome, and Konerko were hitting, this thread wouldn't exist. 2 of those 3 need to get hot and soon.

oeo
05-02-2008, 11:39 AM
Swish has been struggling of late...that AVG and OBP have seen a pretty large fall. That said, no I'm not worried. He will get his hits.

I'm more worried about Orlando Cabrera. So far, he's been the exact opposite of what was advertised (it's not even that he's slumping, it's that I have not seen him be a "professional" hitter once yet). And whenever Swish gets on, Cabrera will do something stupid like fly out on the first pitch. The two never get anything going together...it seems as if Cabrera only does something when the bases are empty.

Mr. Man
05-02-2008, 11:43 AM
I think we're all just wishing that Swisher had Podsednik's speed.

In April 2005, Pods went .254 / .354 / .269 with 17 H, 11 BB, 10 R, and 10 SB in 18 G
In April 2008, Swish went .226 / .381 / .344 with 21 H, 23 BB, 19 R, and 1 SB in 27 G

Remind me again why Pods missed 6 games in April 05?

Swisher doesn't have the zip Pods did. And everybody loved that little scrap on the basepaths.

Watch for Swisher's Pink Goatee on Mother's Day (http://homerderby.com/archives/2172).

ondafarm
05-02-2008, 11:56 AM
Lead-off hitters have multiple jobs:

1) when the opposing SP is dealing, get on base and use your speed to manufacture a run.

2) when the opposing pitcher is fresh, but beatable, make the guy throw as many pitches to you as possible

3) let your teammates see what the SP is throwing, can he get his breaking stuff over, hows his heat, is his slider working.

Swish seems to be doing the last two very well and the first acceptably.

KyWhiSoxFan
05-02-2008, 12:03 PM
Swisher is doing fine at the job he is being asked to do. However, I would like to see him batting 3rd, 5th, or 6th in the order, rather than leading off. To me, he's playing out of position both at the plate and in the field. He's a corner outfielder or a 1B. A lot is being asked of him, and he's doing a good job at getting on base in the one hole.

Frater Perdurabo
05-02-2008, 12:18 PM
Remind me again why Pods missed 6 games in April 05?

I think Ozzie rested Pods against a few LH starters and gave those starts to Ozuna.

balke
05-02-2008, 12:23 PM
Swisher is doing fine at the job he is being asked to do. However, I would like to see him batting 3rd, 5th, or 6th in the order, rather than leading off. To me, he's playing out of position both at the plate and in the field. He's a corner outfielder or a 1B. A lot is being asked of him, and he's doing a good job at getting on base in the one hole.

I don't right now see him as a 3 or 4 hitter. I see him as a great leadoff #2 #5 or higher. He's got power to drive them in, but doesn't get hits enough to be a 3-4 guy in my mind.

kaufsox
05-02-2008, 12:27 PM
I think he's fine, the OBP is great at lead off and we all knew he wasn't a burner. I think he would be a better #2 than lead off, but right now he is our best option. Further down the order would be okay, and his power numbers would surely go up. Swish is the least of my worries on this offense.

RedHeadPaleHoser
05-02-2008, 12:41 PM
He hits between Juan Uribe and Orlando Cabrera. That should say something.

He's not exactly the ideal lead-off hitter and would be better suited for the middle of the lineup, but we don't have a true lead-off man so he's our best option.

As far as his numbers, I'm not disappointed with him at all. He gets on base, he can work a pitcher, and he puts together good AB's.

I agree....hoping as the weather warms, so does his bat.

ondafarm
05-02-2008, 01:04 PM
I'd love to see Swish batting #6 or #7. He's got decent speed, he switch hits and he has very solid OBP plus decent power (most years). It is important to stay out of GIDP late in the line up, this helps it turn over more. But we need a legit lead-off man for that to happen, IMO.

pudge
05-02-2008, 01:36 PM
Ten times happier with Swish than I am with Cabrera right now. I guess I just didn't know much about Cabrera, but I can't stand his at bats... granted he's not as sucky as Uribe, but I guess I was just hoping for more. I honestly have no idea what his stats are, I couldn't care less, I can watch at bats and get a feel for what a guy is bringing to the team. Swish's at bats are mostly great. OC's not so much.

TDog
05-02-2008, 02:09 PM
I think it's a lot of things inlcuding all the time he is spending in CF which may be taxing his physical abilities harder than when he was only doing it a few times a week. It's been a hard run to open the season too with some really long days due to rainouts and even a double header already.

He'll either fall into a groove or the the team will have to start moving him around a bit/giving him a few more days off to keep his legs fresh.

For now as along as he keeps reaching base, it's not that big of a deal. Hope his bat comes around but if he can set the table for the guys behind him, that's what this team needs.

You may be right.

Actually, though, last summer, my first in Northern California, I wasn't impressed with Swisher as a hitter and this spring thought the expectations at WSI of what he would bring to the team were unfounded. He isn't an RBI man. He not only seems to have a talent for coaxing walks, but places a priority on it, to the detriment of driving in runs. He also strikes out a lot. He seems to be doing the job in getting on base, but he has come up 22 times with runners in scoring position and has only two hits and seven walks. The on-base percentage that people rave about is still there at .391, but his batting average, for that matter his slugging percentage is .133 with only 4 RBIs. Two of those RBIs came with a runner on third and less than two out, a situation where he has been successful in his only two opportunities, to his credit.

These aren't just isolated stats. They reflect what I see happening. When Swisher comes up in RBI opportunities, he doesn't seem to be taking the approach of an RBI man, so I question whether he would fit well as a No. 3, 4 or 5 hitter, where hitters get the big RBI opportunities. Moving him around in the order, short of maybe into the No. 2 spot or at the bottom of the order, wouldn't seem to help the team.

Moving Swisher defensively could improve his hitting if playing center nearly every day indeed is too taxing on him. And if it is, this could be something that slows him down in late August and September. Brian Anderson would be a better defensive centerfielder and allow Swisher to play a corner field, but that would require moving someone else out of the lineup.

Swisher is a conventional leadoff man because he gets on base. If you're looking for a speedster who doesn't reach base as often but is a threat to steal when he does, you frequent different conventions than I.

Jerko
05-02-2008, 02:24 PM
The way our 2-4 hitters have been batting, Swish going deep into counts doesn't seem to be helping them any. I wish he would swing the bat a little more.

spiffie
05-02-2008, 02:38 PM
The fact that are people who complain about the fact Swisher doesn't swing at enough bad pitches in an attempt to rack up more RBI's in lieu of getting on base by not swinging at bad pitches is so mind-boggling as to make me wonder if I've just lost the ability to comprehend words. I guess the organization's "swing first, ask questions later" philosophy is strong in the seats as well as the dugout.

I wonder sometimes if for many Sox fans their dream players would all hit 280, walk 5 times a year, strike out 5 times a year, and fly out all other AB's. Then we could talk about how our guys don't wait for walks, and they all have good averages and aren't striking out. Sure the team wouldn't score for ****, but it would look great on the back of a baseball card and stack up nicely against mediocre players from the 80's who looked decent when run production was 1.5 runs lower per game. I'd say the dream player for this would be Joe Carter circa 1990. He drove in 115 runs with a line 232/290/391, and only wasted 48 AB's waiting for a walk. His 93 K's were probably a bit high though. Much better though than his damn teammate Jack Clark that year, who hit a paltry 266 with 62 RBI's. Too busy walking his way to a 441 OBP instead of looking for his hits.

FedEx227
05-02-2008, 02:41 PM
The fact that are people who complain about the fact Swisher doesn't swing at enough bad pitches in an attempt to rack up more RBI's in lieu of getting on base by not swinging at bad pitches is so mind-boggling as to make me wonder if I've just lost the ability to comprehend words. I guess the organization's "swing first, ask questions later" philosophy is strong in the seats as well as the dugout.

I wonder sometimes if for many Sox fans their dream players would all hit 280, walk 5 times a year, strike out 5 times a year, and fly out all other AB's. Then we could talk about how our guys don't wait for walks, and they all have good averages and aren't striking out. Sure the team wouldn't score for ****, but it would look great on the back of a baseball card and stack up nicely against mediocre players from the 80's who looked decent when run production was 1.5 runs lower per game. I'd say the dream player for this would be Joe Carter circa 1990. He drove in 115 runs with a line 232/290/391, and only wasted 48 AB's waiting for a walk. His 93 K's were probably a bit high though. Much better though than his damn teammate Jack Clark that year, who hit a paltry 266 with 62 RBI's. Too busy walking his way to a 441 OBP instead of looking for his hits.

Quoted for truth, it's mind boggling to me.

TDog
05-02-2008, 03:06 PM
The fact that are people who complain about the fact Swisher doesn't swing at enough bad pitches in an attempt to rack up more RBI's in lieu of getting on base by not swinging at bad pitches is so mind-boggling as to make me wonder if I've just lost the ability to comprehend words. I guess the organization's "swing first, ask questions later" philosophy is strong in the seats as well as the dugout.

I wonder sometimes if for many Sox fans their dream players would all hit 280, walk 5 times a year, strike out 5 times a year, and fly out all other AB's. Then we could talk about how our guys don't wait for walks, and they all have good averages and aren't striking out. Sure the team wouldn't score for ****, but it would look great on the back of a baseball card and stack up nicely against mediocre players from the 80's who looked decent when run production was 1.5 runs lower per game. I'd say the dream player for this would be Joe Carter circa 1990. He drove in 115 runs with a line 232/290/391, and only wasted 48 AB's waiting for a walk. His 93 K's were probably a bit high though. Much better though than his damn teammate Jack Clark that year, who hit a paltry 266 with 62 RBI's. Too busy walking his way to a 441 OBP instead of looking for his hits.

With Swisher, I don't believe it's a matter not swinging at bad pitches as it is a matter of fouling off good pitches. Frank Thomas walked a lot for the Sox. Ted Williams walked a lot for the Red Sox. Boston writers did complain that Williams wouldn't swing at pitch an inch off the plate to drive in a run. I don't know if that was valid, but Williams drove in a lot of runs. Thomas drove in a lot of runs for the Sox. Jim Thome walks a lot and he drives in runs. Some hitters, though, walk because pitchers are pitching around them. Swisher can see sometimes eight to 10 pitches in an at bat, usually before walking or striking out. With the A's last year and now with the Sox, he does a good job of getting on base but doesn't seem to get many hits with runners in scoring position.

I'm not suggesting Swisher swing at more bad pitches. I'm saying the evidence seems to show that he isn't an RBI man and other people could do better in the RBI spots in the order.

Eddo144
05-02-2008, 03:31 PM
I'm not suggesting Swisher swing at more bad pitches. I'm saying the evidence seems to show that he isn't an RBI man and other people could do better in the RBI spots in the order.
Evidence in this case being leading off games (only way to get an RBI would be to hit a HR) and following Juan Uribe (who is only on base for Swisher 22.0%) of the time in the order?

Not that I don't love him leading off; his high OBP contributes to as many runs as his hitting lower and driving in other people would.

In Baseball Between the Numbers, there's a very interesting aritcle/essay/chapter titled "Was Billy Martin Crazy?", in which the authors ran thousands of simulated seasons* with different batting orders, and found that the optimal order was, if I recall, only 15 or so runs better than the absolute worst. They also determined that the optimal lineup was in descending order of OBP, regardless of slugging and batting average.

(* Simulated in the following manner: say you have a hitter who, in 600 PA, had 180 hits, 30 2B, 20 HR, 6 3B, and 60 BB (his line would be .333/.400/.522). His "single percentage" would be 124/600 = .207. His "double percentage" would be 30/600 = .050. His "triple percentage" would be 6/600 = .010. His "HR percentage" would be 20/600 = .033. His "BB percentage" would be 60/600 = .100. They then would generate a random number between .000 and .999. If is was less than .207, it was a single. Between .207 and .257, a double. Between .257 and .267, a triple. Between .267 and .300, a HR. Between .300 and .400, a BB. Finally, if it was greater than .400, it was an out. Then you repeat for each player in the lineup, over 162 games, and add up all the runs scored.)

TDog
05-02-2008, 03:55 PM
Evidence in this case being leading off games (only way to get an RBI would be to hit a HR) and following Juan Uribe (who is only on base for Swisher 22.0%) of the time in the order? ...

Evidence in this case being, in part, that he has come up with runners in scoring position 22 times and has only two hits and seven walks to show for it. He has only 4 RBIs in those situations and two of those RBIs came when he came through in his only two at bats with a runner on third and less than two out. This evidence was explained in a previous post.

I listened to A's games last season when Swisher usually batted third. He had only 78 RBIs in more than 500 at bats. People who want to move Swisher to an RBI slot in the lineup are guessing that he will will drive in runs from an RBI slot. I'm saying I've have seen him in an RBI slot and there he has been much better on getting on base than driving in runs.

I understand why Swisher is leading off.

spiffie
05-02-2008, 04:13 PM
Evidence in this case being, in part, that he has come up with runners in scoring position 22 times and has only two hits and seven walks to show for it. He has only 4 RBIs in those situations and two of those RBIs came when he came through in his only two at bats with a runner on third and less than two out. This evidence was explained in a previous post.

I listened to A's games last season when Swisher usually batted third. He had only 78 RBIs in more than 500 at bats. People who want to move Swisher to an RBI slot in the lineup are guessing that he will will drive in runs from an RBI slot. I'm saying I've have seen him in an RBI slot and there he has been much better on getting on base than driving in runs.

I understand why Swisher is leading off.
Actually he hit in the 3 hole less than half the games last year. He was in:
3rd - 78 times
2nd - 50 times
6th - 11 times
4th - 7 times
5th - 1 time

Last year with runners in scoring position he had 55 RBI out of 174 chances (186 PA's, 12 intentional walks). Just for comparison's sake last year Paul Konerko had 163 chances with RISP, and had 55 RBI. In 2006, a year where he hit out of his mind he had 74 RBI in 169 chances. In Swisher's best RBI year, he had 55 RBI in 159 chances.

So basically he's about slightly less skilled as an RBI man than Konerko is in an average season for PK. Which, considering Konerko is a cleanup hitter, whereas Swisher has been mostly a top or bottom of the order hitter, seems about fine to me.

TDog
05-02-2008, 05:03 PM
Actually he hit in the 3 hole less than half the games last year. ....

I was also basing my statement on the widespread opinion in the local media that Swisher wasn't doing the job as an RBI man. I don't know if anyone believes Konerko had a good season last year, so I don't know if that is a point of comparison.

I also don't know if pitchers are pitching around Swisher to get to Cabrera with runners in scoring position. I only know that I am happy with Swisher leading off and won't demand Guillen bat him somewhere else. I believe Swisher came to the Sox with a reputation as not being a good RBI man and he has done nothing so far this year to show he would be better batting third, fourth or fifth, where you expect hitters to drive in runs.

fquaye149
05-02-2008, 05:08 PM
Do you think his poor start is something to be concerned over or is this just a slump? Thus far I am not happy with Swish.

His OBP is good but his slugging and AVG are crap.

Yeah, I hate have a leadoff hitter who gets on base nearly 40% of the time :rolleyes: Could he be hitting better? For more power? Absolutely. But his job is to get on base. I wouldn't guess there are more than 5 leadoff hitters with a better OBP than Swish

DickAllen72
05-02-2008, 05:12 PM
I'm more worried about Orlando Cabrera. So far, he's been the exact opposite of what was advertised (it's not even that he's slumping, it's that I have not seen him be a "professional" hitter once yet). And whenever Swish gets on, Cabrera will do something stupid like fly out on the first pitch. The two never get anything going together...it seems as if Cabrera only does something when the bases are empty.
I feel the same way, not only about Cabrera's hitting, but I'm disappointed in his defensive play and his overall play in general as well. He's made some good plays, but he's made some bonehead plays. I always had a very high opinion of Orlando Cabrera as a "winner" and an intelligent player. I haven't seen it as of yet.

jabrch
05-03-2008, 12:05 AM
I believe Swisher has much more potential than he has shown so far. He needs to hit better than .225 regardless of how many walks he takes if he is truly to be effective for this team.

PhillipsBubba
05-03-2008, 01:15 AM
Like I said before, all this talk about OBP over BA is a smokescreen...the Sox aren't winning anything batting .240.

Swisher is no lead-off man though his efforts have been admirable, Uribe is awful and the Thome/Konerko duo is worrisome.

IF KW doesn't do something dramatic, it will be 2007 revisited.

The players are what they are and can't be blamed for it. There are just too many of the same type of hitters: free swingers, slow afoot without the ability to bunt or choke up on the bat when the sutuation calls for it.

But it's early, the pitching has been good...hopefully things will improve...GO SOX:rolleyes:

Boondock Saint
05-03-2008, 01:25 AM
Like I said before, all this talk about OBP over BA is a smokescreen...the Sox aren't winning anything batting .240.

Swisher is no lead-off man though his efforts have been admirable, Uribe is awful and the Thome/Konerko duo is worrisome.

IF KW doesn't do something dramatic, it will be 2007 revisited.

The players are what they are and can't be blamed for it. There are just too many of the same type of hitters: free swingers, slow afoot without the ability to bunt or choke up on the bat when the sutuation calls for it.

But it's early, the pitching has been good...hopefully things will improve...GO SOX:rolleyes:

Why not? Because he hasn't stolen a bunch of bases? He's doing a phenomenal job as a lead off man. He takes a ton of pitches, and gets on base while doing so. Those are two of the most important things you want from your #1 hitter.

Yes, one of the major reasons the 05 Sox won the WS is because of great speed and great baserunning. But the thing that many people on here don't realize is that it isn't the only way for the Sox, or any team, to be successful.

Nellie_Fox
05-03-2008, 02:24 AM
...without the ability to bunt or choke up on the bat when the sutuation calls for it.Seriously, who chokes up when the situation calls for it these days? Baseball would be better for it if they would, but you're asking for something that no longer exists.

balke
05-03-2008, 07:25 AM
Seriously, who chokes up when the situation calls for it these days? Baseball would be better for it if they would, but you're asking for something that no longer exists.


TCQ has been doing that as of late.

Frater Perdurabo
05-03-2008, 07:39 AM
I feel the same way, not only about Cabrera's hitting, but I'm disappointed in his defensive play and his overall play in general as well. He's made some good plays, but he's made some bonehead plays. I always had a very high opinion of Orlando Cabrera as a "winner" and an intelligent player. I haven't seen it as of yet.

Agreed. Cabrera has been a big disappointment to me, too. I would have rather had Uribe's defense at short and Iguchi at second, and then the Sox either could have kept Garland, or could have dealt Garland for someone/something else.

Frater Perdurabo
05-03-2008, 07:41 AM
TCQ has been doing that as of late.

My guess is that he does it because he still has good habits from his college days and from his days with the Diamondbacks. What scares me is that it is possible that this team's bad fundamentals rub off on him.

spiffie
05-03-2008, 09:01 AM
Agreed. Cabrera has been a big disappointment to me, too. I would have rather had Uribe's defense at short and Iguchi at second, and then the Sox either could have kept Garland, or could have dealt Garland for someone/something else.
The only problem is that the expectation this year was that Richar was going to take over second base. Of course, at this point I'm wondering if we would have been better off just using Richar/Uribe and trading Garland for something else. At the very least maybe they could have banked a few million for possible midseason deals. Cabrera needs to pick it up or he is going to be wearing the "bust" label.

fquaye149
05-03-2008, 09:11 AM
My guess is that he does it because he still has good habits from his college days and from his days with the Diamondbacks. What scares me is that it is possible that this team's bad fundamentals rub off on him.

Ugh.

Anything that can be accomplished by choking up on the bat can just as easily be accomplished by widening one's stance and shortening one's swing

tick53
05-03-2008, 09:17 AM
He's great for the team and his hitting will be there too. So far, so good :smile:.

ondafarm
05-03-2008, 11:22 AM
Ugh.

Anything that can be accomplished by choking up on the bat can just as easily be accomplished by widening one's stance and shortening one's swing

Ugh. No it can't. If you think so you don't know much about statics and how it relates to hitting.

fquaye149
05-03-2008, 11:36 AM
Ugh. No it can't. If you think so you don't know much about statics and how it relates to hitting.

What does this have to do with stats? It has to do with the fundamentals of hitting. You choke up to make contact. Just widen your stance and shorten your stroke. I know you played ball in Japan and everything, but that really makes no difference to me. I played baseball too :rolleyes:

jabrch
05-03-2008, 11:36 AM
Why not? Because he hasn't stolen a bunch of bases? He's doing a phenomenal job as a lead off man. He takes a ton of pitches, and gets on base while doing so. Those are two of the most important things you want from your #1 hitter.

He's not hitting. Walking is not a substitute for hitting. It is a compliment to hitting.

fquaye149
05-03-2008, 11:38 AM
He's not hitting. Walking is not a substitute for hitting. It is a compliment to hitting.

In the leadoff spot, walks=hits as long as by hits you mean singles. If you want to talk about whether his slugging pct should be higher, that's fine but there's no difference between hitting .280 in the leadoff spot with a .480 OBP and a .400 SLG and hitting .220 in the leadoff spot with a .480 OBP and a .400 SLG. IN fact, walks are often better from the leadoff spot than first or 2nd pitch singles, as the 2nd and 3rd hitter can see more pitches

btrain929
05-03-2008, 11:38 AM
He's not hitting. Walking is not a substitute for hitting. It is a compliment to hitting.

Well said. He WAS doing a great job leading off, but lately, not so much.

ondafarm
05-03-2008, 11:59 AM
What does this have to do with stats? It has to do with the fundamentals of hitting. You choke up to make contact. Just widen your stance and shorten your stroke. I know you played ball in Japan and everything, but that really makes no difference to me. I played baseball too :rolleyes:

Statics not statistics. There are plenty of other reasons.

fquaye149
05-03-2008, 12:10 PM
Statics not statistics. There are plenty of other reasons.

choking up on the bat creates fulcrum problems that shortening your stroke and focusing on contact does not. Choking up on the bat is an outdated, flawed approach. If people do it and have success, fine, but it's certainly not something to bemoan the loss of

ondafarm
05-03-2008, 12:50 PM
Fine, try this. Take a baseball bat and a batting donut, one that fits on that bat. Hold the bat with one hand, preferably with just two fingers and your thumb. Hold the bat down at the end (opposite the handle) and toss the donut ten times up at least ten feet and try to catch it in the air with the bat. As if you are playing ring toss. Now take the same bat, find the center of gravity and hold it in the same manner around the center of gravity. Try the ring toss again. See if you don't catch the donut a lot more times. That is why choking up is still the best thing to do. Choking up moves you hands closer to the center of gravity and gives you much better control. Good bunters always move one hand up the bat, hopefully to the center of gravity.
If by fulcrum problems you mean you don't hit as many home runs, sometimes you have to worry about being a .300 hitter and forget the home runs.

Frater Perdurabo
05-03-2008, 01:09 PM
Fine, try this. Take a baseball bat and a batting donut, one that fits on that bat. Hold the bat with one hand, preferably with just two fingers and your thumb. Hold the bat down at the end (opposite the handle) and toss the donut ten times up at least ten feet and try to catch it in the air with the bat. As if you are playing ring toss. Now take the same bat, find the center of gravity and hold it in the same manner around the center of gravity. Try the ring toss again. See if you don't catch the donut a lot more times. That is why choking up is still the best thing to do. Choking up moves you hands closer to the center of gravity and gives you much better control. Good bunters always move one hand up the bat, hopefully to the center of gravity.
If by fulcrum problems you mean you don't hit as many home runs, sometimes you have to worry about being a .300 hitter and forget the home runs.

I did not play organized baseball past age 11, but based on your explanation, my guess is that if you have more bat control by choking up, you also have more control over where the ball goes - fly ball or ground ball and/or left side or right side. And therefore, you have more ability to not only avoid hitting into a out, but you also have more control over whether the out you make is productive (advances the runner, etc.) or unproductive (double play, etc.)

jabrch
05-03-2008, 01:12 PM
I did not play organized baseball past age 11, but based on your explanation, my guess is that if you have more bat control by choking up, you also have more control over where the ball goes - fly ball or ground ball and/or left side or right side. And therefore, you have more ability to not only avoid hitting into a out, but you also have more control over whether the out you make is productive (advances the runner, etc.) or unproductive (double play, etc.)

I never played past HS - but I'd agree with your assessment.

fquaye149
05-03-2008, 01:20 PM
Fine, try this. Take a baseball bat and a batting donut, one that fits on that bat. Hold the bat with one hand, preferably with just two fingers and your thumb. Hold the bat down at the end (opposite the handle) and toss the donut ten times up at least ten feet and try to catch it in the air with the bat. As if you are playing ring toss. Now take the same bat, find the center of gravity and hold it in the same manner around the center of gravity. Try the ring toss again. See if you don't catch the donut a lot more times. That is why choking up is still the best thing to do. Choking up moves you hands closer to the center of gravity and gives you much better control. Good bunters always move one hand up the bat, hopefully to the center of gravity.
If by fulcrum problems you mean you don't hit as many home runs, sometimes you have to worry about being a .300 hitter and forget the home runs.

Your goal as a hitter is not "to make contact" but to make "Solid contact"

By choking up you handicap yourself in making solid contact. I'm clearly not talking about hitting HR, since I'm advocating that a hitter widen his stance and shorten his stroke when hitting.

What I'm talking about is creating an environment where your bat is not working against you (i.e. NOT CHOKING UP) I don't deny that moving toward the center of the bat will help you make contact--otherwise you wouldn't slide your hand up the bat while bunting.

But we're not talking about merely striking the ball. That's not "hitting," otherwise everyone in baseball would hold the bat like Ty Cobb did. We're talking about driving the ball.

If you choke up on the bat (especially if you are used to using a bat of a certain length or size) you are less likely to hit the bat on the sweet spot, as the center of balance has now shifted and will not likely be the sweet spot.

If you shorten your stroke you are still using the same motion/power to drive the ball but you will not be focused on hitting it has hard--increasing the likelihood for a hit.

It's not the same thing, exactly, but there's a reason why golfers are less likely to choke up on their clubs than to take shorter backswings when they're in between clubs--it's not good to completely throw the balance off of a muscle-memory motion by a good 2-3 inches

TornLabrum
05-03-2008, 01:33 PM
He's not hitting. Walking is not a substitute for hitting. It is a compliment to hitting.

I'm glad to hear walking had something nice to say about hitting. :redneck

oeo
05-03-2008, 01:37 PM
Agreed. Cabrera has been a big disappointment to me, too. I would have rather had Uribe's defense at short and Iguchi at second, and then the Sox either could have kept Garland, or could have dealt Garland for someone/something else.

Cabrera seems to be turning the corner. He's hitting the ball hard, and finally showing us why he won a Gold Glove last year. I still haven't seen the "professional hitting" yet, but he's looking good these last couple of games.

jabrch
05-03-2008, 01:37 PM
I'm glad to hear walking had something nice to say about hitting. :redneck

Thanks Hal... :-)

You are correct - it is a complement, not a compliment. That said, if walking could talk, and if it new much about baseball, it likely would say, "I'm good - but you are better than me!!!!!"

santo=dorf
05-03-2008, 01:39 PM
Swisher is doing well in one of the most important offensive categories (OBP, especially for a leadoff hitter) however Sox fans expected a lot more than an Erstad like OPS that is currently only 20 points higher than Carlos Gomez's. We gave up three prospects, arguably our best two (one of which is a future HOF,) and he shown zero power. Some Sox fans had him pencilled in for at least 35 home runs and even as our future first baseman. A .700ish OPS isn't going to cut it, but because the overall offense has been ****ty, I'd expect him to get back to his usually .840 OPS with a high OBP.

WhiteSox5187
05-03-2008, 02:33 PM
Swisher is doing well in one of the most important offensive categories (OBP, especially for a leadoff hitter) however Sox fans expected a lot more than an Erstad like OPS that is currently only 20 points higher than Carlos Gomez's. We gave up three prospects, arguably our best two (one of which is a future HOF,) and he shown zero power. Some Sox fans had him pencilled in for at least 35 home runs and even as our future first baseman. A .700ish OPS isn't going to cut it, but because the overall offense has been ****ty, I'd expect him to get back to his usually .840 OPS with a high OBP.
But his OBP has been in freefall the past two weeks.

ondafarm
05-03-2008, 03:17 PM
Your goal as a hitter is not "to make contact" but to make "Solid contact"

By choking up you handicap yourself in making solid contact. I'm clearly not talking about hitting HR, since I'm advocating that a hitter widen his stance and shorten his stroke when hitting.

What I'm talking about is creating an environment where your bat is not working against you (i.e. NOT CHOKING UP) I don't deny that moving toward the center of the bat will help you make contact--otherwise you wouldn't slide your hand up the bat while bunting.

But we're not talking about merely striking the ball. That's not "hitting," otherwise everyone in baseball would hold the bat like Ty Cobb did. We're talking about driving the ball.

If you choke up on the bat (especially if you are used to using a bat of a certain length or size) you are less likely to hit the bat on the sweet spot, as the center of balance has now shifted and will not likely be the sweet spot.

If you shorten your stroke you are still using the same motion/power to drive the ball but you will not be focused on hitting it has hard--increasing the likelihood for a hit.

It's not the same thing, exactly, but there's a reason why golfers are less likely to choke up on their clubs than to take shorter backswings when they're in between clubs--it's not good to completely throw the balance off of a muscle-memory motion by a good 2-3 inches

There are also disadvantages to widening your stance.

Suffice to say, for some guys, choking up works, for some widening the stance works. As a career .242 hitter, I don't pretend to be a hitting coach. I do think having a variety of tools, including several to accomplish similar things with different side effects, isn't a bad thing.

fquaye149
05-03-2008, 03:28 PM
There are also disadvantages to not widening your stance.

Suffice to say, for some guys, choking up works, for some widening the stance works. As a career .242 hitter, I don't pretend to be a hitting coach. I do think having a variety of tools, including several to accomplish similar things with different side effects, isn't a bad thing.

If choking up works for you, fine. I just dispute whether choking up has any discernable advantage to getting a lighter bat. And if that's the case, why not just use the wider bat?

Shortening your stroke (and to a lesser extent, depending on the extremeness of your stride, widening your stance) is something you can do without changing, fundamentally, the way you hold the bat, swing, or stride, and can aid in hitting the ball solidly for contact

TDog
05-03-2008, 03:57 PM
Swisher is doing well in one of the most important offensive categories (OBP, especially for a leadoff hitter) however Sox fans expected a lot more than an Erstad like OPS that is currently only 20 points higher than Carlos Gomez's. We gave up three prospects, arguably our best two (one of which is a future HOF,) and he shown zero power. Some Sox fans had him pencilled in for at least 35 home runs and even as our future first baseman. A .700ish OPS isn't going to cut it, but because the overall offense has been ****ty, I'd expect him to get back to his usually .840 OPS with a high OBP.

Swisher's OBP when he's leading off an inning is a little lower than it is overall -- .356 compared to .369. I have NEVER been excited about anyone's OBP. Jim Thome's OBP overall is .350 and no one is excited about that. I feel silly even typing OBP. And I'm not impressed with the need to take pitches to run up the pitch count. You can knock out a pitcher a lot quicker by hitting him hard than you can by wearing him down.

I hope Swisher is just off to a slow start. As much as I've never thought much of him as a hitter, I'm hoping he exceeds the expectations that Kenny Williams had in him and even the unrealistic expectations that a lot of the fans had in him.

Vernam
05-03-2008, 04:08 PM
As a career .242 hitter, I don't pretend to be a hitting coach. I do think having a variety of tools, including several to accomplish similar things with different side effects, isn't a bad thing.Our hitting coach's career BA was .260. I'm just sayin' . . .

Vernam

TDog
05-03-2008, 04:32 PM
Our hitting coach's career BA was .260. I'm just sayin' . . .

Vernam

Charley Lau's was .255.

I'm just sayin' ...

Frater Perdurabo
05-03-2008, 06:13 PM
Our hitting coach's career BA was .260. I'm just sayin' . . .

Vernam

Charley Lau's was .255.

I'm just sayin' ...

Rudy Jaramillo never sniffed the big leagues (four years in the minors). But the results consistently say that he's the best hitting coach in the game right now, and has been for a long time.

ondafarm
05-03-2008, 06:46 PM
To wit, I say, "Do as I say, not as I do."

TDog
05-03-2008, 08:59 PM
Rudy Jaramillo never sniffed the big leagues (four years in the minors). But the results consistently say that he's the best hitting coach in the game right now, and has been for a long time.

Ray Berres, who died last year, was a pretty good pitching coach, and he never pitched to a batter in 11 major league seasons. He was the best pitching coach the White Sox ever had, and may have been the best pitching coach ever.

Sox
05-03-2008, 09:08 PM
Swisher is the proto-typical bridge of the gap.

Stat guys like him because he has a high OBP, high OPS and old-school guys like him because he's a "GRINDER".

I like him as a "grinder" just because I am an "old school" kind of guy....:wink:

TDog
05-03-2008, 09:15 PM
I like him as a "grinder" just because I am an "old school" kind of guy....:wink:

I know old school guys who eat grinders for lunch.

Sox
05-03-2008, 09:32 PM
I know old school guys who eat grinders for lunch.

Different kind of "grinder" whippersnapper. In my day they were called "Hero Sandwiches." Which back to the term "grinder" is not really being used in the proper context of my original statement. But what do I know I'm just " "Old school.":wink:

Vernam
05-04-2008, 09:51 AM
Charley Lau's was .255.

I'm just sayin' ...Good one! I was just kidding around, being flip (not to mention pretty annoyed with yesterday's loss!). Don't count me among the Walker haters, partly because hitting coach has to be about the most over-rated spot on any MLB staff.

Also, there's a long history of high-achieving players making poor coaches, because their abilities don't translate to lesser-skilled students. Hard for a career .300 hitter to be patient, IOW. So your point is taken . . .

Vernam

TheVulture
05-04-2008, 09:30 PM
Imagine that! Three capable defenders in the OF and they all have arms!

Was there a Dye trade I didn't hear about?

fquaye149
05-04-2008, 09:31 PM
Was there a Dye trade I didn't hear about?

:rimshot:!

Brian26
05-04-2008, 09:38 PM
Ugh. No it can't. If you think so you don't know much about statics and how it relates to hitting.

Statics not statistics. There are plenty of other reasons.

Not to beat you up over this, but "statics" is the study of objects that are not moving and are in equilibrium (ie point loads on a steel beam).

I think "dynamics" would be more applicable in talking about swinging a bat.

Frontman
05-04-2008, 09:39 PM
Swish is the Sox answer to the Most Interesting Man in the World.

His awesome could defeat that Dos Equis guy without even tryin'.........






:rolleyes:

TDog
05-04-2008, 09:55 PM
Swish is the Sox answer to the Most Interesting Man in the World.

His awesome could defeat that Dos Equis guy without even tryin'.........






:rolleyes:

You may be on to something. I remember such mocking posts in regard to Darin Erstad last year.

If, heaven forbid, the 2008 White Sox do turn out to do their best to imitate the 2007 White Sox, Nick Swisher will play the role of a healthy 2007 Erstad.

I hope, with every fiber of my being, that he proves me wrong.

Craig Grebeck
05-04-2008, 09:58 PM
You may be on to something. I remember such mocking posts in regard to Darin Erstad last year.

If, heaven forbid, the 2008 White Sox do turn out to do their best to imitate the 2007 White Sox, Nick Swisher will play the role of a healthy 2007 Erstad.

I hope, with every fiber of my being, that he proves me wrong.
Please. Erstad was an over the hill, horrid ballplayer who had no skills.

Swisher is yet to enter his prime and has the potential to be a franchise player.

TDog
05-04-2008, 10:17 PM
Please. Erstad was an over the hill, horrid ballplayer who had no skills.

Swisher is yet to enter his prime and has the potential to be a franchise player.

It would be nice if he played like that.

Craig Grebeck
05-04-2008, 10:17 PM
It would be nice if he played like that.
He has the last two years.

areilly
05-04-2008, 10:32 PM
Please. Erstad was an over the hill, horrid ballplayer who had no skills.

Swisher is yet to enter his prime and has the potential to be a franchise player.

It would be nice if he played like that.

He has the last two years.

That's a pretty ****ty franchise whose best player is producing seasons on par with the likes of Willy Mo Pena and Jay Gibbons. But hey, Swisher walks a lot. And he's good in the clubhouse. That's awesome.

TDog
05-04-2008, 10:34 PM
He has the last two years.

I congratulate you on your low standards.

TheVulture
05-04-2008, 10:38 PM
That's a pretty ****ty franchise whose best player is producing seasons on par with the likes of Willy Mo Pena and Jay Gibbons. But hey, Swisher walks a lot. And he's good in the clubhouse. That's awesome.

A. Pena and Gibbons are horrid defensive players and not exactly quality baserunners.
B. Pena career OBP .312, Gibbons career OBP .314, Swisher career OBP .361
C. Swish can grow a powerful beard.

ZombieRob
05-04-2008, 10:39 PM
Think Swisher is just batting out of his element and being asked something of him that he isn't used to doing. I wouldn't go as far as him being a franchise player, but he could be a nice solid one.

areilly
05-04-2008, 10:56 PM
A. Pena and Gibbons are horrid defensive players and not exactly quality baserunners.
B. Pena career OBP .312, Gibbons career OBP .314, Swisher career OBP .361
C. Swish can grow a powerful beard.

Swisher's career OBP is .361. So are those of Jose Vidro and Scott Hatteberg. Swisher's D is okay at best but for all that mighty baserunning Swisher has 5 career stolen bases and not a whole lot of extra-base hits.

The sum of Nick Swisher is an okay baseball player. Nothing more, nothing less. He's got some great strengths but also some serious deficiencies. All told, "Swisher" and "franchise" do not belong in the same sentence unless said franchise is in a league where the only way on base is by drawing walks.

Am I the only person bothered by people's failure to realize this?

jabrch
05-04-2008, 10:59 PM
Swish walks - a lot.

That's nice...very nice...

But if he doesn't start hitting, his value will be extremely limited.

FedEx227
05-04-2008, 11:12 PM
Swisher's career OBP is .361. So are those of Jose Vidro and Scott Hatteberg. Swisher's D is okay at best but for all that mighty baserunning Swisher has 5 career stolen bases and not a whole lot of extra-base hits.

The sum of Nick Swisher is an okay baseball player. Nothing more, nothing less. He's got some great strengths but also some serious deficiencies. All told, "Swisher" and "franchise" do not belong in the same sentence unless said franchise is in a league where the only way on base is by drawing walks.

Am I the only person bothered by people's failure to realize this?

Am I the only person bothered by your failure to understand good baserunning has nothing to do with how many career stolen bases you have (see David Ortiz), especially when you played on a team that severely limited the amount of SB attempts?

Eddo144
05-05-2008, 12:49 PM
The sum of Nick Swisher is an okay baseball player. Nothing more, nothing less. He's got some great strengths but also some serious deficiencies. All told, "Swisher" and "franchise" do not belong in the same sentence unless said franchise is in a league where the only way on base is by drawing walks.
While I don't think "franchise" player necessarily describes Swisher, I'd like to know what these "deficiencies" are.

Speed? The same ability such terrible players as Frank Thomas, Babe Ruth, Robin Ventura, and Mark Grace lacked? (And I don't think I'd even say Swisher is slow; he's not a burner on the Podsednik/Crawford level, but very few are.)

Defense? He won't win a Gold Glove, but he's been adequate. He takes good routes on balls, which is something neither Podsednik nor Owens did.

Throwing arm? He has a decent arm (nothing special), which is still better than Podsenik, Owens, Pierre, Damon, and a bunch of other outfielders. His arm is not a liability.

Hitting for average? Sure, he'll never be a .280+ hitter. But he makes up for it with getting on base at a very good clip (carrer .360+). The goal of a batter is to get on base, not necessarily get a hit, and Swisher does that quite well.

Hitting for power? He hit 35 HR in a pitchers' park in 2006.


As an aside, would anyone else agree that a better definition of the Five Tools be:

Hitting for power
Plate discipline
Baserunning ability
Defensive aptitude
Throwing arm?

Craig Grebeck
05-05-2008, 01:08 PM
Swisher's career OBP is .361. So are those of Jose Vidro and Scott Hatteberg. Swisher's D is okay at best but for all that mighty baserunning Swisher has 5 career stolen bases and not a whole lot of extra-base hits.

The sum of Nick Swisher is an okay baseball player. Nothing more, nothing less. He's got some great strengths but also some serious deficiencies. All told, "Swisher" and "franchise" do not belong in the same sentence unless said franchise is in a league where the only way on base is by drawing walks.

Am I the only person bothered by people's failure to realize this?
Okay baseball player?

areilly
05-05-2008, 02:07 PM
While I don't think "franchise" player necessarily describes Swisher, I'd like to know what these "deficiencies" are.

Speed? The same ability such terrible players as Frank Thomas, Babe Ruth, Robin Ventura, and Mark Grace lacked? (And I don't think I'd even say Swisher is slow; he's not a burner on the Podsednik/Crawford level, but very few are.)

Defense? He won't win a Gold Glove, but he's been adequate. He takes good routes on balls, which is something neither Podsednik nor Owens did.

Throwing arm? He has a decent arm (nothing special), which is still better than Podsenik, Owens, Pierre, Damon, and a bunch of other outfielders. His arm is not a liability.

Hitting for average? Sure, he'll never be a .280+ hitter. But he makes up for it with getting on base at a very good clip (carrer .360+). The goal of a batter is to get on base, not necessarily get a hit, and Swisher does that quite well.

Hitting for power? He hit 35 HR in a pitchers' park in 2006.


As an aside, would anyone else agree that a better definition of the Five Tools be:

Hitting for power
Plate discipline
Baserunning ability
Defensive aptitude
Throwing arm?

Four things:

1) It's a loaded argument to say that since Pods, Owens, etc., selectively sucked in one department, it's thereby okay that Swisher lacks in that same area. By your logic, since Babe Ruth hit 60 home runs, Swisher can too.

2) A batter's job is also to drive in runs and find more than one way to get on base. It was stated best in another (Swisher-related) thread that walks are a complement to hits - not a substitute.

3) Since when is striking out 20% of the time "good plate discipline?"

4) I think your above post could just as easily describe our old friend Carlos Lee, except Carlos actually is a .280 hitter.

Swisher draws walks but can't hit his way on base, and is average to slightly above average in every other department. Can someone please explain to me the overall usefulness of this type of player as opposed to, say, one who doesn't have to rely on an opposing pitcher's lack of control? "He's better than [insert 2006/2007 bust here]" is not an answer, either.

"Five tool player?" Sure, but there's a difference between a Blackhawk and a Reese.

Eddo144
05-05-2008, 04:25 PM
Four things:

1) It's a loaded argument to say that since Pods, Owens, etc., selectively sucked in one department, it's thereby okay that Swisher lacks in that same area. By your logic, since Babe Ruth hit 60 home runs, Swisher can too.

2) A batter's job is also to drive in runs and find more than one way to get on base. It was stated best in another (Swisher-related) thread that walks are a complement to hits - not a substitute.

3) Since when is striking out 20% of the time "good plate discipline?"

4) I think your above post could just as easily describe our old friend Carlos Lee, except Carlos actually is a .280 hitter.

Swisher draws walks but can't hit his way on base, and is average to slightly above average in every other department. Can someone please explain to me the overall usefulness of this type of player as opposed to, say, one who doesn't have to rely on an opposing pitcher's lack of control? "He's better than [insert 2006/2007 bust here]" is not an answer, either.

"Five tool player?" Sure, but there's a difference between a Blackhawk and a Reese.
1) True, my logic there was faulty. My point - that Swisher's adequate defensively - still stands.

2) A batter's job is to drive in runs and get on base, period. It is not to hit his way on base. Now, since Swisher has been hitting leadoff, the RBI opportunities are not as prevalent, so his job switches to more of a "get on base" role, which he has done 35.4% of the time this year (and 36.0% of the time during his career). That is a very respectable OBP.

3) Strikeouts are not necessarily a sign of poor plate discipline. Sure, in Juan Uribe's case, they are, but by nature, hitter's who walk a lot will strike out a lot. They are taking a lot of pitches, and rarely swinging at the first strike they see. This results in getting on base more often, but also results in more strikeouts as compared to other outs. Remember, in the vast majority of situations, a strikeout is no worse than a groundout or flyout (and comes with the added bonus of no double play possibility).

4)
Nick Swisher:
Average year: .249/.360/.455, 28 HR, 87 RBI, 94 BB, 143 K.
2007 Salary: $400,000.
Carlos Lee
Average year: .288/.341/.500, 30 HR, 107 RBI, 50 BB, 85 K.
2007 Salary: $11,500,000.

Carlos Lee is a better hitter than Nick Swisher. I admit it. Defensively, no. Running the bases, no. He'll hit more HR and for a higher BA and SLG. His OBP is not much worse. I'd take him back in a second. The reason that the 2005 won it all was not because Podsednik replaced Lee. It was because Podsednik and Vizcaino replaced Lee, and the extra money was used to acquire El Duque and Iguchi. Lee is better than any one of them individually, but not collectively. And currently, Swisher is younger (27 vs. 31) and cheaper, so he makes more sense.

Also, to address your point about Swisher depending on a pitcher's lack of control: it's not true. Do you truly believe a hitter has no control of what pitches a pitcher throws? Or that being selective doesn't help? Why do guys like Thomas, Bonds, and Thome consistently lead the league in BB? They force pitchers to throw strikes, rather than swinging at pitches out of the zone.

TDog
05-05-2008, 07:45 PM
... Why do guys like Thomas, Bonds, and Thome consistently lead the league in BB? They force pitchers to throw strikes, rather than swinging at pitches out of the zone.

On many occasions, pitchers have pitched around Thomas, Bonds and Thome. Bonds a couple of years ago sometimes would be intentionally walked when he led off innings. Talk about a great leadoff man. These hitters have shown they are willing to walk and won't swing at a lot of bad pitches --although it looked sometimes like they did because every hitter is occasionally fooled.

Saying they forced pitchers to to throw strikes is simplistic. In general, because they did so much damage with their slugging, pitchers pitched them more carefully. A pitcher is more likely to throw strikes to a hitter who can hurt them less but doesn't swing at a lot of bad pitches. A pitcher who will swing at pitches he can't hit is likely to see pitches he can't hit. The situation, of course, is another variable to how a pitcher pitches a hitter.

When Thomas was hitting in front of Albert Bell, there were times he seemed to be focusing more on walking than hitting, to his detriment, I think.

There are hitters who don't hit much but walk a lot. And sometimes hitters walk because pitchers indeed are wild. I have seen both Juan Uribe and Ozzie Guillen end games by taking bases-loaded walks and neither is/was known for taking pitches anywhere close to the strike zone.

Baseball is a fluid art. The numbers don't tell you everything.

regionsox73
05-05-2008, 08:57 PM
He's crazy and intense, he is the Dirty 30, and he dyes his beard blonde, and he is the "dirty cat" and he drinks Monster, and he is Xtreme!

Sorry too much Boers and Bernstein lately.

GBORN
05-05-2008, 09:18 PM
If only he was playing as good as he looks. A little more batting practice and a little less time at the Dirty Cat Salon. :dtroll:

fquaye149
05-06-2008, 01:31 AM
He's crazy and intense, he is the Dirty 30, and he dyes his beard blonde, and he is the "dirty cat" and he drinks Monster, and he is Xtreme!

Sorry too much Boers and Bernstein lately.

:hilariouslyfunnypicturethatsays"aaghmyeyes":

jabrch
05-06-2008, 05:41 AM
1)Why do guys like Thomas, Bonds, and Thome consistently lead the league in BB?

Because pitchers fear throwing them strikes.

Beacause Barry hit .298 and slugged .607 on his career. Because Thomas hit .302 and slugged .558. Because Thome .280 and slugged .553.

If you can hit, and you are patient, you will walk. But when your driver is to walk, and you dig yourself into 0-1, 0-2, 1-2 counts, and you aren't a guy who hits effectively behind in the count (and there are very few who do) then you won't find yourself hitting any better than .225.

Our apporach to the plate this year is sad and pathetic. This is a complete reversal from the past - and I have no idea of why we made this move. We need to get back into the box and start swinging again. Walks are fine - but they are not nearly as important as hits.

Tragg
05-06-2008, 07:59 AM
Our apporach to the plate this year is sad and pathetic. This is a complete reversal from the past - and I have no idea of why we made this move. We need to get back into the box and start swinging again. Walks are fine - but they are not nearly as important as hits.
We sure could have used a walk from Ozuna last night...but he didn't waste his at bat - he was aggressive.
Ozzie's slappers absolutely need to learn to walk or they are worthless, if not negatives, offensively. They aren't walking and never will - Oz wants them "aggressive"

A leadoff hitter walking is a great thing. Whether he can keep that up if he can't hit is something else - eventually, they'll start throwing him lollipops over the plate, which he needs to assault. Swisher has walked throughout his career. Now he can't hit or walk (and he never hit for average).

I agree with you on the power hitters - they walk because they are pitched around a lot. Although, you still need some patience to take them.
Quentin is walking and is having a great year. The problem is that when he gets on, Uribe is there to drive him in....uh, oh.

I don't think it's the walking that's the problem.

Eddo144
05-06-2008, 11:21 AM
If you can hit, and you are patient, you will walk. But when your driver is to walk, and you dig yourself into 0-1, 0-2, 1-2 counts, and you aren't a guy who hits effectively behind in the count (and there are very few who do) then you won't find yourself hitting any better than .225.

Our apporach to the plate this year is sad and pathetic. This is a complete reversal from the past - and I have no idea of why we made this move. We need to get back into the box and start swinging again. Walks are fine - but they are not nearly as important as hits.
Who says the "driver" is to walk? Do you honestly feel any hitter would prefer a walk to say, a double? Unless you've spoken directly to Swisher (or Thome, Konerko, etc.), you can't say that his goal is walk every time he comes to bat.

And you're right, a walk is worth ~2/3 of what a hit is worth, on the average. However, those walks in the 9th inning last night (5/5) sure were worth a lot. While a double from Swisher would have, at the very least, tied the game, a walk was also a positive outcome. Especially because it didn't use up one of the Sox' last two outs. (Additionally, with two strikes, Swisher did hit a screaming line drive, but it was foul. So it's not like he's up there with his bat on his shoulder for every pitch.)

Another thing to remember: when you hit the ball, even if you hit a solid line drive, it can still result in an out (as Swisher has experienced lately). A walk cannot (barring some extremely boneheaded baserunning).

ondafarm
05-06-2008, 11:40 AM
I can tell you my philosophy on walking. I never went to the plate thinking of a walk. Occasionaly, I would go up thinking "I'll make this guy throw a lot of pitches" but never "let's walk". Now, if the guy missed the zone with the first two pitches, that might change. Might, because if he lobbed one in there at 2-0 then he was going to get a screamin liner hit somewhere. Now, if it went 3-0, yeah, I would look to coax a walk. Even at 2-1, I might be thinking about it and definitely at 3-1. If I led off an inning, especially against a new pitcher, I was definitely thinking of making this guy throw several pitches. Then again, guys who warmed up and weren't making the catcher's mitt pop could expect the first pitch that looked emminently hittable to be whacked somewhere hard.

All this being said, as a career .242 hitter, perhaps it should be taken with a grain of hesitation.

areilly
05-06-2008, 11:48 AM
We sure could have used a walk from Ozuna last night...but he didn't waste his at bat - he was aggressive.
Ozzie's slappers absolutely need to learn to walk or they are worthless, if not negatives, offensively. They aren't walking and never will - Oz wants them "aggressive"

I'd say there was justification in letting Ozuna swing there. They needed two runs, and you're not going to get that waiting for B.J. Ryan to walk two more batters. Had Pablo made better contact, that ball's into right and at the very least Anderson scores. Tie game, 2 outs.

(Although, given how things have gone for this team, it probably would've been a 9-2 double play instead of a 1-2-3.)

Another thing to remember: when you hit the ball, even if you hit a solid line drive, it can still result in an out (as Swisher has experienced lately). A walk cannot (barring some extremely boneheaded baserunning).

And this is where I have a problem with the Swisher-is-a-god-thanks-to-his-high-OPB argument. Yes, a ball in play can result in an out, but a ball in play can also move a runner from first to third or drive in a run. Without some freak occurence on the field, a walk will do neither of those. The object is not just to get guys on base but also, more importantly, to score runs. Scoring runs is 50% of winning a baseball game, and happens to be the 50% this team can't do right now.

jabrch
05-06-2008, 02:02 PM
Who says the "driver" is to walk? Do you honestly feel any hitter would prefer a walk to say, a double? Unless you've spoken directly to Swisher (or Thome, Konerko, etc.), you can't say that his goal is walk every time he comes to bat.

And you're right, a walk is worth ~2/3 of what a hit is worth, on the average. However, those walks in the 9th inning last night (5/5) sure were worth a lot. While a double from Swisher would have, at the very least, tied the game, a walk was also a positive outcome. Especially because it didn't use up one of the Sox' last two outs. (Additionally, with two strikes, Swisher did hit a screaming line drive, but it was foul. So it's not like he's up there with his bat on his shoulder for every pitch.)

Another thing to remember: when you hit the ball, even if you hit a solid line drive, it can still result in an out (as Swisher has experienced lately). A walk cannot (barring some extremely boneheaded baserunning).


These guys are taking too many pitches, getting behind in too many counts, and then taking too many third strikes. This team isn't patient - they are comatose. Our top 8 hitters, except CQ and AJ, are not getting good aggressive swings in. They are content to take pitches and walk. Or take pitches and strike out, but "work the count". Look at last night's 9th...3 walks and we score 0 runs. That's insane. Someone needs to get a hit.

Eddo144
05-06-2008, 02:24 PM
I'd say there was justification in letting Ozuna swing there. They needed two runs, and you're not going to get that waiting for B.J. Ryan to walk two more batters. Had Pablo made better contact, that ball's into right and at the very least Anderson scores. Tie game, 2 outs.

(Although, given how things have gone for this team, it probably would've been a 9-2 double play instead of a 1-2-3.)
At the beginning of the inning, you could also have said, "They needed two runs, and you're not going to get the bases loaded waiting for B.J. Ryan to walk three batters." The point is, Ryan had already shown he didn't have his best control; why help him out?

Craig Grebeck
05-06-2008, 02:28 PM
These guys are taking too many pitches, getting behind in too many counts, and then taking too many third strikes. This team isn't patient - they are comatose. Our top 8 hitters, except CQ and AJ, are not getting good aggressive swings in. They are content to take pitches and walk. Or take pitches and strike out, but "work the count". Look at last night's 9th...3 walks and we score 0 runs. That's insane. Someone needs to get a hit.
We scored 0 runs because the last man up in that inning didn't even look to work the count.

Eddo144
05-06-2008, 02:33 PM
These guys are taking too many pitches, getting behind in too many counts, and then taking too many third strikes. This team isn't patient - they are comatose. Our top 8 hitters, except CQ and AJ, are not getting good aggressive swings in. They are content to take pitches and walk. Or take pitches and strike out, but "work the count". Look at last night's 9th...3 walks and we score 0 runs. That's insane. Someone needs to get a hit.
Taking third strikes is not the same as walking, but that's a nitpick.

Of everyone who defends hitters for high walk counts, no one is claiming that walks are better than hits, just that walks are a good thing too. Here's a rough estimation of the relative value of different ways to advance bases.

SB: 1
BB/HBP: 2
1B: 3
2B: 5
3B: 7
HR: 9

That is, getting two doubles is slightly better than one HR (both scenarios result in one run, but with the two doubles, there's a runner on second now). It also shows you can hit with more consistently (you've done something good twice).

Additionally, I doubt anyone else defending this point of view will argue that the Sox don't need to start hitting better; of course they do. However, high walk totals do not result in poorer hitting. The two are fairly independent. That is, you can hit well as a team, and your walk count will vary. You can also hit poorly as a team, and your walk count will vary. Currently, walking and taking pitches is not the reason the Sox aren't hitting. As to why they aren't hitting, well, I don't have the answer to that. And if I did, you can bet I'd be calling Greg Walker right now. :tongue:

ondafarm
05-06-2008, 02:37 PM
One other thing: I don't blame Ozuna for being aggressive. Whenever I came up with the bases loaded, regardless of situation, pitcher, ballpark or how I'd been doing that game/ day/ series/ weel/ month/ season, I'd look for a pitch I could drive. That being said, if the first pitch turned out to be a pitcher's pitch, I'd pull the bat back. Better to be down 0-1 than ground out weakly in a prime RBI situation. I'm not Pablo, so I can't say what he saw, but at different times I made virtually every kind of out in a bases loaded situation, but when I was a pro, I never grounded out weakly swinging at the first offering. I grounded out on good pitches and bad, lined out and flew out, but I always took a whack at a ball I thought I could handle. Yes, if the first two looked pretty far outside, I'd start looking for a walk and if the guy tried to edge me off the plate, I'd take one for the team, no question. I don't think Pablo was prepared for his last AB last night and I don't think he was the best choice but that's whiskey under the bridge.

TDog
05-06-2008, 02:49 PM
We scored 0 runs because the last man up in that inning didn't even look to work the count.

The first pitch was a called strike. If you go up there thinking take with an 0-1 count, you are looking at an 0-2 count. If the second pitch is in the strike zone, working the count is not a consideration. There are hitters who can work the count with two strikes. Swisher might be one of them, but I wouldn't imagine Ozuna is. You don't give a hitter a take sign on 0-1 because the 0-2 pitch would be even tougher to hit.

The pitcher is going to expect Ozuna to be taking all the way on the first pitch. I didn't see the pitch, but it may have been the most hittable Ozuna was going to see in the at bat.

It is not all that rare to see a grand slam on the first pitch hit after a pitcher walks a hitter to load the bases because often the pitcher expects the pitch to be taken.

I really wish Crede would have been available in that situation. He might have popped out. He may have struck out. He may even have grounded into a doubleplay, but the Sox would have had a better chance as he stood up there.

Huisj
05-06-2008, 10:10 PM
So after his 0-4 tonight, Swisher is under .200 now. Does he need a few days off? I know the Sox made a fairly big trade to get him, and he's still going to be an everyday player the rest of this year, but with Cabrera sliding up into the leadoff spot right now, would it be a good time to give Swisher a few days off or platoon him with Anderson for a week or so?

Frontman
05-06-2008, 10:12 PM
So after his 0-4 tonight, Swisher is under .200 now. Does he need a few days off? I know the Sox made a fairly big trade to get him, and he's still going to be an everyday player the rest of this year, but with Cabrera sliding up into the leadoff spot right now, would it be a good time to give Swisher a few days off or platoon him with Anderson for a week or so?

Well, only Swish and Quentin have played every game, if I'm not mistaken this season. I would say give him a day or two off to clear the head, then re-tool to be hitting lower in the order.

Plus, May is just brutal on the Sox with the schedule. To play a day game on Thursday, fly across the country to Seattle for Friday, it might not be a bad thing to sit Swish Thursday either.

jabrch
05-06-2008, 11:35 PM
At the beginning of the inning, you could also have said, "They needed two runs, and you're not going to get the bases loaded waiting for B.J. Ryan to walk three batters." The point is, Ryan had already shown he didn't have his best control; why help him out?

How did we help him out? Pablo was down 0-1. He can't go down 0-2 to not help out BJ Ryan expecting a 4th walk in one inning, can he?

Eddo144
05-07-2008, 07:13 AM
How did we help him out? Pablo was down 0-1. He can't go down 0-2 to not help out BJ Ryan expecting a 4th walk in one inning, can he?
Ozuna didn't help him out. I was just pointing out that the exact same thing you said could have been said at the top of the inning. It would have been wrong.

But this is just semantics. The beauty of baseball is that there are many different ways to approach a situation. Some are more likely to work than others, but, in general, all situations have a less than 50% of working out for the hitter. Any approach can result in success. If it couldn't, we wouldn't watch the games. :D:

Tragg
05-07-2008, 07:23 AM
How did we help him out? Pablo was down 0-1. He can't go down 0-2 to not help out BJ Ryan expecting a 4th walk in one inning, can he?
Ozuna's a bad hitter. He did what he is supposed to do - he slapped the ball on the ground....unfortunately, it didn't get through.
We have good hitters who are hitting poorly (and who are getting old); and we have bad hitters that are, quite predictibly, hitting badly.....and we have a roster with far too many of these bad hitters. A sensible roster would not require a utility infielder to hit in that situation.

areilly
05-07-2008, 10:04 AM
The beauty of baseball is that there are many different ways to approach a situation. Some are more likely to work than others, but, in general, all situations have a less than 50% of working out for the hitter. Any approach can result in success. If it couldn't, we wouldn't watch the games. :D:

Hawk, is that you?

Eddo144
05-07-2008, 10:34 AM
Hawk, is that you?
Ugh. First, I cite Hawk as being correct in another thread, and now this?

Dadgummit!

spiffie
05-07-2008, 03:21 PM
How did we help him out? Pablo was down 0-1. He can't go down 0-2 to not help out BJ Ryan expecting a 4th walk in one inning, can he?
The second pitch was a ball. The count was 1-1 when Ozuna hit into the DP. He was in a better position to keep working him there than either Konerko was at 0-1 and 2-2 or Swisher was at 2-2, yet somehow BJ Ryan walked them. Apparently he must not have decided to throw strikes at them.