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Is the offense going to turn it around soon?


adambr2

Every regular starter besides Hart and Kendall is below or within 37 points of the Moeller-line (.200).

Braun looked like he's starting to see the ball better, but Prince is really underperforming right now. His AB in the 8th was terrible. He showed no discipline at the plate with 1st base open when he was unlikely to see much to hit. Then he failed to take off for 1st after the strike 3 passed ball.

Really, there's not a single hot hitter in the lineup right now. There's about 5 cold hitters and 3 that are just hanging in there.

I'm not sure how much of this falls back on Skaelen, but I'm stunned that this talented of a lineup could collectively be this bad over 3 weeks into the season.

Seeing young guys like Villanueva and Gallardo go out there and give us 7 IP giving up 1-2 runs and not be able to get them a win is going to get very old very soon.

 

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Yes, because they all are having the same problem which can be corrected. They are all swinging at the ball outside off the plate. They have to learn that they are playing into the pitches hands. They also need to take pitches the other way more and I believe it will happen.
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Yes, because they all are having the same problem which can be corrected. They are all swinging at the ball outside off the plate. They have to learn that they are playing into the pitches hands. They also need to take pitches the other way more and I believe it will happen.

I'm not blaming Skaalen specifically, but if that's the problem throughout the lineup, I would hope that it's a problem that he has been addressing regularly.

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Yes, because they all are having the same problem which can be corrected. They are all swinging at the ball outside off the plate. They have to learn that they are playing into the pitches hands. They also need to take pitches the other way more and I believe it will happen.

I'm not blaming Skaalen specifically, but if that's the problem throughout the lineup, I would hope that it's a problem that he has been addressing regularly.

I would hope so, but you never know. I think this team will be about .500 until June and then will go on a tear once it all comes together, but I don't see it happening overnight.

 

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If I were an opposing manager, there's no way I would ever start a game with a lefty against them - they are so right-handed dominant in their lineup, and right now a righty starter can get every hitter out the same way - hard stuff up and in, then soft stuff away. Prince is a big lefty bat, but when there aren't guys getting on in front or behind him, pitchers can either walk him intentionally, or give him nothing good to hit and hope he gets himself out (which he did at least twice tonight)

 

This offense will continue to struggle until they start hitting the ball to the opposite field - nothing but pull-happy hitters, and it's very tough to hit an outside pitch hard when you're trying to pull it.

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I hate that they are taking aggressive cuts with 2 strikes instead of shortening up and taking the ball the other way. Also, they are giving the pitchers too many easy strikes by swinging at dumb pitches and letting good ones go.
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Two things to say:

 

1. Here's to hoping that Mike Cameron = Big shot in the arm. There is enough talent in the line up now that individuals shouldn't feel the need to press, but another veteran like Cameron could be a spark.

 

2. How much did the Brewers not need TGJ to get hurt during the first 25 games. He would have been a left handed bat that brought another dimension to the table with his speed and defense.... aka the anti-gross.

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I don't remember exactly, but I think it was Prince's third plate appearance. He had already BBed once and IBBed the other time. This time Braun was on base (I believe he doubled) so it was pretty obvious Prince wouldn't get anything great to hit. He went up their hacking away and struck out on 3 pitches. I'm sure it's frustrating when you're not getting good pitches to hit, and when you're up in a "big spot", as BA would say, you want to help your team. But man, Prince, you gotta take a walk if they're not going to give you anything to hit.

 

I don't think you can say any one player on the team has had a good approach so far this year. Obviously Kendall's been hitting well, and Hart's the only other one that's not about .220, but he doesn't seem to have had a ton of good ABs. This funk obviously won't last forever but it would be nice if they started to get out of it by the end of this homestand.

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Yea, Hart's Batting Average is due in large part to a 6 out of 8 stretch he had a couple days ago.

 

 

Still, if anything, that this team is hitting so poorly and we're still winning games is a sign of encouragement. There's almost no way that Prince, Braun, Weeks and Hardy continue to hit at about a .200 clip(a little above combined, but not much I'm guessing).

 

Then take Mike Cameron, insert him for Gabe Gross, and I think this team will get a real nice boost. I just hope the BP can keep pitching well and Sheets can stay or get healthy and I think we'll take off.

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Most BAs are due to a few hot streaks. I think people need to calm down just a bit. The offense seems to be doing better. I think people are overlooking the three past starters. Cuevto, Harang, and Wainright aren't likely to give up 8 runs in an outing.
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And....what is with the baserunning blunders on this team. Is this a direct result of Svuem coaching 3rd base. I seem to remember having this problem two seasons ago when Svuem was at 3rd base, but not so much last year.
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I'm pretty sure that going into last night (and maybe even leaving it) . . . they were leading the NL in batting average with RISP. I am as frustrated as everyone else about the hitting situation, but it can't last. Unfortunately, it looks like a line-up of slow starters. I think that they only need one catalyst (Cameron, Braun, Weeks, Hart, or Hardy) to start raking and you will see the entire line-up come around. To me it looks like each player is trying to be the one to lead the team out of the slump, especially Fielder. I did not include Fielder in the "catalyst" list because he is not going to see any pitches until someone else in the line-up starts making it impossible for them to pitch around him.
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And....what is with the baserunning blunders on this team. Is this a direct result of Svuem coaching 3rd base. I seem to remember having this problem two seasons ago when Svuem was at 3rd base, but not so much last year.

Which blunders are you talking about? Gross on second is deciding to run on his own, not looking at the coach for help. And Hart took off for home because he was running on contact. That probably came from someone on the bench and unless it two hops right at someone it puts pressure on the D and probably scores a run. Haven't we thrown out mroe people at the plate than we've been thrown out ourselves? That seems to be the major job of the 3rd base coach when it comes to baserunning.

 

I'm close to not worring about the offense. The Cardinals showed that throwing junk sliders off the plate would get The Horse out, but no one else seemed to pick up on that. The Cardinals showed this year that the entire team can be put down by throwing junk sliders and maybe the rest of the league will be too dumb to pick that up as well.

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I do believe that the problems on offense will be long term. Obviously Braun and Fielder are being pitched very differently, and it's just as obvious that they lack the ability to be flexible and change their approach. Until they stop trying to get by on hitting the crap outta the ball I'd expect the offense to struggle. I think Fielder knows exactly what he has to do, but it just galls him. Can't say I blame him, but the league has decided, "hey Prince, you're never gonna hit 50 homers again unless you pummel the leftfield bleachers." And Braun, I feel even more for him. The talk of greatness, the certainty that the Brewers had produced somebody really special, his natural swagger, he must've thought he was invincible. Now, he's just lost up there, I mean truly lost. Pitchers are just laughing at him...3 inches off the plate...6 inches off the plate...a foot off the plate. I'd guess some time after the All-Star break the light will finally click on. Then watch out; they may take a very bloody revenge on the league. I think this is time well-served by both players, a humbling catharsis, that will pay benefits down the road.

 

Or, they could just suck right now. I dunno.

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I think that this team will be up and down all season. Just like last year we had times of being extremely hot and times where we couldn't do anything. Last year we started out hot and cooled off. Hopefully we are cool now (and we are still winning) and will get hot late. I'm not panicing right now but I do have some worries.
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I was thinking about this again this morning - when was the last time Weeks or Braun hit a baseball with authority to the opposite field?

 

they're trying to pull EVERYTHING - Weeks has always stood on top of the plate, but watching the game last night, I noticed that Braun was much closer to the plate than I had remembered last season. In a sense, they're trying to take the outside corner away from pitchers, but they're also taking away the inner half for themselves - they're not going to be able to hit an inside pitch well and keep it fair.

 

Braun and Weeks need to use the entire field - until they start hitting to the opposite field, they're going to keep struggling. If they're not getting on consistently, Prince isn't going to get anything to hit, so he won't be lighting it up either.

 

Hart and Hardy have at least gone the opposite way a few times, and coincidentally they seem to be the two youngsters who are swinging the bats decently. Hall will go to right field with 2 strikes, but I wish he'd take that approach more consistently instead of trying to yank an outside corner fastball down the left field line. Kendall, Kapler, and Counsell have all shown the ability to hit to all fields depending on the pitch location and type. I'm not advocating benching the young guys just yet, but I think they could learn a lot from watching some of the veterans' ABs.

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The frustrating thing about Braun is that last year he seemed able to adjust once the pitchers caught on to what a hitter he is. This year he just doesn't seem to have much ability to switch gears in the batter's box. At least he has started to do some positive things at the plate, which I take as a sign he's about to bust out and go on a tear.
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Prince's approach doesn't bother me so much. He's on pace to draw about 110 walks, so he's being fairly patient. He's not going to get much to hit until the rest of the team starts hitting. Braun is hitting about .261 since he sat out a game last week. Not great, but signs of life.

 

Mostly it seems like they've all decided they're the best home run hitters to EVER play the game, so they'll be swinging at every pitch, every at bat. The other teams are laughing at them. Until they decide to smarten up, nothing will change.

 

And yes, if this keeps up into May, Skaalen will be fired.

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