Have you noticed we hit a lot more ground balls than the teams we play? Sometimes we get in a rut where we can't get the ball out of the infield. I don't see the Longorias, Kinslers and Michael Youngs hitting very many grounders. They elevate their swing.
George Brett once said he credited Charlie Lau with changing his hitting philosophy by slightly elevating his swing and driving the ball to the outfield. He very rarely hit double play grounders.
I'm always fascinated when I look at a ballfield and see all that outfield space manned by just 3 ballplayers, and that small infield area that we keep hitting the ball to manned by 4 ballplayers.
Another big problem we have that we never address is the other teams pitchers seem to throw the ball about 10 mph faster that our pitchers. It's hard to drive what you can't see.
All those comments would help this team. I think some of the elevated swinging does occur but the hitters timing is off so much they hit the top half of the ball...creating ground outs.
The pitching??? what can I say...the way it's going Gardy will try some of his bowling league buddies to role the ball up to the plate.
That is not my point. Look at Valencia, right now he is no different than Liriano...they are both head cases.
The only thing a coach can do is suggest things to help the player. If he uses the assistance or not it is the player's decision. But, eventually not wanting to get better will land the player off the roster or to another organization.
The same thing happened to Carew in Milwaukee...and to some extent Tony Oliva. Tony's simple "see the ball, hit the ball" doesn't always register with players.
For ANY coach it boils down to what the player wants to do for himself...improve or not.
"Danny, stop pulling your eye off the ball"
IS THAT SO HARD VAVRA?
I just repeated what you said, bro.
The whole thing about him 'not wanting to improve' is a bunch of baloney. He wants to improve. EVERYONE wants to improve when they are playing like garbage. He just wants to do it his own way. The Twins should have seen this coming with Valencia. They never liked his makeup and cannot deal with players who are difficult. At all.
That is right on what I was saying just in another way. The young players that want to do the things they need to have a better chance of improving their skills will and most probably will improve. Those young players that have their OWN way (because they are too good) generally will toil and fade away.
There is also the player that thinks they are so good they don't need help or don't take help seriously and blame everyone else for their troubles. Just as the umpire gets blamed for every called third strike he takes.
Valencia...the opposing pitches know his weaknesses and they have been exploiting them. Sure he hit a HR last night...it was a mistake by the pitcher.
"Valencia...the opposing pitches know his weaknesses and they have been exploiting them. Sure he hit a HR last night...it was a mistake by the pitcher."
Are we to assume you believe Mauer doesn't get any pitcher 'mistakes'? Or if he does, he doesn't have the ability to hit them beyond the warning track?
Do you believe Vavra is the right man for the hitting coach job? Is it your opinion that Mauer doesn't want to improve? Or Morneau? Don't you think they could use some coaching help?
Valencia may be a head case, but I'd be willing to bet the farm, he would be far more responsive to hearing what a hitter like, say, a Harmon Killebrew type had to offer than what he is hearing from the current coaching staff.
It's just my contention that we watch these hitters that should be far more "clutch" than they are, and like last night, leave a man on 3rd with no outs...as has been going on ad infinitum. Hellsbells, the so-called "Big Sticks" act more scared of those situations than an Alexi does.
The answers to your questions are:
Yes and both work at improving with help when needed. There is a huge difference between a player that is a natural hitter and someone that isn't.
Yes and they do.
Lousy response regarding the coaching staff. He is getting paid to be the best he can and he needs to do whatever it takes to make himself better. His arrogance just may be standing in his way.
It don't agree with your last paragraph.
It should obvious but let me make some observations here.
First...power hitters elevate the ball because they have the power to reach the seats. They don't have the power to reach the base. They are slower players and it's better that they play for power rather than hit on the ground and use speed to reach base. Many of these "power" hitters would not have a career if not for the DH rule. They would be useless.
Twins have a speed lineup for the most part and they are taught to hit on the ground. What would you have a player like Ben Revere do? Tell him to elevate the ball more? A Fly out is still an out. If you are another numbers guy than you can see that Joe Mauer hits into double plays because those speed guys in front of him are on base. There is no double play without hits. Joe's numbers say that 1/3 of the time he will advance the runners. Yes if 1/3 of his at bats were home runs than that would be great but that's not going to happen no matter who is hitting.
Be patient my friends. The season has just begun. We need out young pitchers to pitch. Our bull pen has been OK. I think we will be fine on the hitting department. We have faced many top pitchers already and have taken a beating from a few but we will get our wins.
I was at that makeup game last year with the White Sox late in the season and it was pathetic. There was no effort by the Twins players in that game. I commented to a friend of mine on Facebook the next day (he's a White Sox fan) that the game was terrible. He said....how could it be....we had a perfect game into the 7th or 8th inning. I said, well if you just stand there and take pitches and don't run out hits then that perfect game isn't all that easy to get. You can lob pitches down the heart of the plate knowing nobody cares.
I tell you......it was like those Twins players didn't want to be there.
I think no matter if you have lost 150 games you still are a major league player and you give it all you got.
Sometimes I think players get complacent after they have been up for a while. The young guys seem to feel they have finally arrived. Valencia was better when he first came up and played at 3rd. I thought......now we finally have a 3rd baseman. Now I'm not so sure. He can play there and I know if anybody will give him a chance it's the Twins but how long do you wait.
"Valencia may be a head case, but I'd be willing to bet the farm, he would be far more responsive to hearing what a hitter like, say, a Harmon Killebrew type had to offer than what he is hearing from the current coaching staff."
That could be the case........maybe he doesn't respect Vavra but you would think there are enough good hitters in the organization that Danny should stop and listen. Spring training brings in some of the best that have ever played with Carew and Tony O. And you have Mauer and Mornue. Those guys know how to hit. Seems those guys are humble and approachable and it's been said many times that they are good with the rookies so what's the answer?
Personally, I just think people like to hate on Valencia.
Off the field, I think he's trying to correct his approach. I really do. I don't think he's an idiot who can't interpret his own stats. The problem is, he's too boneheaded and stubborn by nature to do anything about it when he's in a live game, standing at home plate.
It's like me and my golf game. I tell myself that I can hit my three iron better than my fairway woods. So on par 5s, with my second short, I swing away with my three iron, and find minimal success time and time again. I practice with my fairway woods. I see my poor results with my three iron. I know I need to learn to hit my fairway woods if I want to find success consistently on par 5s. But guess what club I continue to grab every time out?
And . . . the golf ball is laying on the ground, not being hurled at me at 90+ mph! I have lots of time to make a decision. Danny doesn't. It's why habits are hard to break.
I'm not saying that the current form of Danny Valencia is our long term answer at third base. What I'm saying is that I don't like the "hate" thrown his way because he can't help it that he's our only real option at the corner.
Twins have a speed lineup for the most part and they are taught to hit on the ground.-----------------------------------------------------------------
That is the fundamental problem with this offense. If you build an offense like the Twins do expect many nights like last night. Runners left on base galore
-----------------------------------------------------------------Be patient my friends. The season has just begun. -----------------------------------------------------------------
Why does anyone need to be patient? Since the playoffs 2010 this team has had a record under .400