Monday, August 02, 2010

Boesch's slump bringing back memories of Chris Shelton

It's not just that Brennan Boesch's batting average has been dropping that is sending up red flags, but his lack of run production is stunning.
He has had opportunity after opportunity to drive in runs - and just hasn't done it.
He has one RBI in his last 16 games. That was with a sacrifice fly. Boesch hasn't driven in a run with a hit since the first inning of the Tigers' July 9 game against the Twins at Comerica Park. He drove in that run with an RBI single off Francisco Liriano. He has three RBI since - two on groundouts, the other with the above-mentioned sacrifice fly. That is in 78 at bats.
Hate to say it, but he is starting to be remindful of Chris Shelton.
I think Boesch is more athletic than Shelton, and therefore has a better chance of becoming a long-term major league player and regular, but it doesn't make this skid any less alarming.



Blogger Larry Baker said...

The Tigers seem willing to stay with non-performing players like Sheffield, Willis, Monroe, Huff, Boesch for days and weeks beyond what you might expect from a contender. Sometimes its due to a lack of depth, other times $$$, but perhaps there's a streak of sheer stubborness.

3:49 PM 
Blogger Core Contrarian said...

I was reading that now that the scouts have seen him, they have determined that his weakness is the low and inside pitch so that is apparently what he is going to see until he makes an adjustment. If he does, he gets to be a major leaguer. If not, he doesn't.

It certainly could be more complicated than that but I have seen him flailing away at that pitch.

3:56 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Boesch is going to be OK.

He's going thru two things:

The opponent's pitching coaches and pitchers are trying to shoot outside the plate to get him reaching. Also he's having some bad luck.

But this kid is good .. he can flat out hit the ball. And vs. left handers.

He's the last guy I would be worried about if I were Brows or Leyland for the long term.

Call it a freshman learning experience.

But this kid will flat out hit when he get's it together.

5:30 PM 
Blogger Barry said...

Boesch is so aggressive at the plate he swing a lot of bad pitches. Pitchers are not exactly giving him good pitches to hit. He has swung at pitches that were half a foot off the plate. If he can be more selective at the plate I think he will be with the club for a long time.

6:04 PM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

Larry Baker,
I think in this case, the Tigers have little choice. I thought he'd show some signs of coming out of it. Maybe day off Monday will help.

12:36 AM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

Core Contrarian,
If that's the case, it's unusal. Seems like that is a pitch most left-handed pitchers drive. Seems like they have been pitching him high and tight, too.

12:37 AM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

They don't groove him fastballs on the first pitch any more, that's for sure. You can just tell he is really confused at the plate right now where before he was just so confident.

12:39 AM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

You could be right. Maybe he is just a streak hitter.

12:40 AM 
Blogger Fred Brill said...

Book! long time no comment - sorry bout that.

In my personal humble opinon - for whatever it is worth - it is not a matter of Boesch adjusting his swing - but instead adjusting his head.

Boeasch was hot up until the All Star break - a busy schedule with little or no off time. But at the break - I suspect he started listening to and reading about how great he was.

And it got into his head.

And now he has to get it out of his head. High and tight / low and inside? They didn't just start throwing Boesch High and tight and low and inside after the all star break.

It's between his ears.

9:54 AM 
Blogger Rick Heitmeyer said...

Pat, I think the Tigers mess with guys too much. This must have been said to Brennan: "Hey, a guy named Chris Shelton had a great approach. He never swung at a first pitch. You should do that. Or they'll figure you out." So, now he takes the first pitch and swings at JUNK. I love the guy and hope he'll be okay!

1:19 PM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

Rick Heitmeyer,
I think it was more the pitchers understanding how aggressive Boesch was early in the count and pitching him more carefully. Seems like it made him less sure of himself - and he is missing pitches he used to crush.

12:04 PM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

Fred Brill,
Agreed. Boesch still has a short compact swing, but has definitely struggled with the mind games pitchers are routinely playing with him at this point.

12:05 PM 

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