Jump to content
Brewer Fanatic

Mechanical flaw in Brewers' swings


NYChez

The Brewers are hitting an alarming number of popups and lazy flyballs, and there's a reason for it.

 

For a right-handed batter, when the bat ends up only in the left hand after the swing, it means they're not driving through the ball with their most powerful part of the body. When the right hand comes off the bat, the result is that the bat dips and you pop the ball up.

 

An example is Kapler's at-bat in the 8th (when Hart was on 1st as a steal threat, and Kapler popped up the 3-1 pitch).

 

I hope somebody on the coaching staff notices this and does something about it. It's easily correctable.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Recommended Posts

i think you are generalizing a ton here...

 

i think the guys are pressing and trying to do something at the moment...and i agree with the point about hitting to the opposite field, but just getting them to hold the bat with both hands isn't a solution for anyone above high school

Link to comment
Share on other sites

i think the guys are pressing and trying to do something at the moment

 

Yeah trying to hit the elusive 5-r HR

That's probably it. With seemingly every game tied in the 8th or 9th inning, guys are probably focused more on trying to pull the ball (to hit a heroic HR), and as a result any pitch on the outside half of the plate is going to result in a weak popup.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The Brewers are hitting an alarming number of popups and lazy flyballs, and there's a reason for it.

 

For a right-handed batter, when the bat ends up only in the left hand after the swing, it means they're not driving through the ball with their most powerful part of the body. When the right hand comes off the bat, the result is that the bat dips and you pop the ball up.

Its not a mechanical flw in their swings, it is just a fact of them being out on front of the pitch. You're right that they aren't swinging through the ball, as once there is the realization that they are out in front, the brain/body's natural instinct is to try to slow up, and that is when the right hand comes off the bat. This is merely a function of staying back and being more patient in general at the plate. Likewise, if they swing too hard and don't make contact or miss all together, the hand will almost necessarily come off the bat as well. Again, not a question of mechanical flaw, but one of mental approach.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The only mechanical thing I've noticed is how Hart seems to just be flipping his bat at the ball. He's not pulling anything with any authority. When he has made good contact it's been all to the opposite field.

 

With the other guys, it seems more taking pitches to hit (fastballs right down the middle, hanging breaking balls, etc), and swinging at pitchers' pitches. Hardy especially takes a ton of fastballs right over the heart of the plate and ends up swinging at stuff out of the zone.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Perhaps they feel like the bat is being taken out of their hands. Perhaps since they, in essence, have only two strikes to work with, they feel pressed.

 

All I know is the entire team is not hitting as good as they should. You have one guy who is hitting over .300 and he was not under the direction of watchful eye of Skaalen until this year. There seems to be a lack of coaching or some type of philosophy that needs to change quickly.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1) I believe Kapler always takes his right hand off the bat in the follow through. I can't look at video from here at work, but I remember thinking his HR swing looks odd because it finishes one handed.

 

2) Hart is the only one that seems to always want to go to RCF. He's never looking to pull a pitch, so he never seems to do a good job of driving the ball to LF. That's also what happened to his power, he's looking to dump the ball in RCF gap rather than hit the ball as hard as he can like the guy batting after him.

 

3) I think their "take pitches" approach is being implemented wrongly. They take until they get the first strike, which is usually a fb over the heart of the plate. Then they need to protect the plate by swinging at all of the outside junk pitches. But they dig the long ball so much they still try to turn those pitches into homers.

The poster previously known as Robin19, now @RFCoder

EA Sports...It's in the game...until we arbitrarily decide to shut off the server.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

All I know is the entire team is not hitting as good as they should. You have one guy who is hitting over .300 and he was not under the direction of watchful eye of Skaalen until this year. There seems to be a lack of coaching or some type of philosophy that needs to change quickly.

Did you happen to notice what Ryan Braun, Prince Fielder, Cory Hart in particular did last season? Are we really going to start blaming the hitting coach? Didn't we just go down that road about a year and a half ago, and already his replacement is being teed up?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well, naivin, I'm not one to blame coaching on everything, but something is terribly wrong, and it's not just "small sample size". Sometimes teams come out of Spring Training and they look horrible and ill prepared in either all facets or just one or two. It's possible the coaching staff was too preoccupied with improving the defense and the offense has suffered as a consequence. At any rate, these guys do not look like major league hitters right now. It is highly unusual for an entire team, especially one this talented and young, to go on such a prolonged hitting slump. Either this is the most over rated offense in history or the coaching approach is all wrong.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I posted this in another thread but I'll add it here since it seems to apply. Here are the OPS against of the pitchers each player on the Brewers has faced so far this year and the OPS of the player in parenthesis. The average NL pitcher has a .732 OPS against so far this year and every hitter in our lineup has faced above average pitching.

 

Weeks - .700 (.673)

Hall - .689 (.770)

Kendall - .687 (.778)

Hart - .683 (.734)

Fielder - .671 (.818)

Braun - .673 (.692)

Hardy - .677 (.568)

Gwynn - .647 (.967)

Kapler - .724 (.886)

 

Hardy and Weeks are the only two players in our lineup with an OPS lower than the OPS given up by all the pitchers they have faced. We just happen to have faced a ton of hot pitchers on the year. The bats will get going eventually, it really isn't as bad as it has looked.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We just happen to have faced a ton of hot pitchers on the year.
Well, in this case one could argue the sample size is so small, the Brewer hitters have made these pitchers look "hot". The guy they faced yesterday had a 5.91 ERA coming in. Aaron Harang is a very good pitcher, but he's been at his best this year in his two starts against the Brewers. Nelson Figueroa has a middling ERA, but he looked like Jake Peavy against the Brewers. Josh Fogg has a 10.80 ERA but gave up just one run in 5 innings against the Brewers.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Maybe people are looking for a simple explanation for something that is very complex and not easily figured out? To think it's the same thing for every player (coaching staff, for instance) is just to convenient to be true. All I know is, in a couple of months, Braun, Hardy, Fielder, Weeks, Fielder and Hart will probably all have better OPS's, so sample size IS at least part of the explanation.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

why is it always the coaches fault, he isnt the one up there swinging the bat. All of these guys have hit in order to get where they are, and most had Skaalan coming up through the minors, he isnt any different so where does that leave them?
Link to comment
Share on other sites

1) I do believe opponents pitching has a lot to do with it. Can't be proven, obviously, it just SEEMS like opposing pitchers have been able to hit the outside corner with breaking balls far more often than the norm. A lot of these guys seem to be hitting the strike zone with curve balls, sliders, and change-ups in situations you would expect a "thow away pitch" when they're ahead in the count.

 

2) In general, it's been hard for batters to stay off the breaking ball in the dirt or clearly outside. They'll stay away from it early in the count, but just can't resist with two strikes. But I think that has something to do with #1 above. I don't know what a "professional hitter" means, but maybe that's part of it. Learning to just shorten the swing and foul those pitches off.

 

3) For whatever reason, I don't see a lot of attempts to hit to the opposite field. Hardy would die before he would slap a single to right. Not exactly a norm for guys like Weeks, Hall, and Braun either.

 

4) Finally, is it really as simple as "see ball, hit ball?" Maybe some of these young players are being told so many things from various coaches that they're thinking too much at the plate. (Much like my golf swing.)

 

At any rate, it's nice to be right in the mix with an offense that hasn't been productive. Cameron coming back may be a spark, it could be that simple. As I'm sure someone has mentioned by now, in September we may be complaining about how bad the starting pitching is and we should be winning more games with all the runs we're scoring.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Maybe people are looking for a simple explanation for something that is very complex and not easily figured out? To think it's the same thing for every player (coaching staff, for instance) is just to convenient to be true. All I know is, in a couple of months, Braun, Hardy, Fielder, Weeks, Fielder and Hart will probably all have better OPS's, so sample size IS at least part of the explanation.

Sure it's seems convenient to blame the coach. It always does. I doubt Skaalen is encouraging them to take failed approaches in their at bats. He may be the same good coach he's always been, but the players, in love with their individual successes last year, have decided to stop listening and to go their own way. Once you lose your players, you can no longer coach effectively. So it may not be the coaches fault, but a change may be necessary just the same.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

We just happen to have faced a ton of hot pitchers on the year.
Well, in this case one could argue the sample size is so small, the Brewer hitters have made these pitchers look "hot". The guy they faced yesterday had a 5.91 ERA coming in. Aaron Harang is a very good pitcher, but he's been at his best this year in his two starts against the Brewers. Nelson Figueroa has a middling ERA, but he looked like Jake Peavy against the Brewers. Josh Fogg has a 10.80 ERA but gave up just one run in 5 innings against the Brewers.

 

Maybe to a small degree but the OPS against in every single case is lower than our team OPS except for Kapler. These guys have done BETTER overall against other teams than they did against the Brewers so far as a collective.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

So, the theory is that Skaalen might be teaching them all the right things but they've all choosen to defy him and continue using an approach that is obviously wrong to people on the internet? I just don't see it.

 

I think much of this approach talk is kind of questionable, anyway. If the results were better they'd probably be praised for their approaches right now. For example, Braun's approach last year was to basically swing at everything and it worked so no one cared. Now, he's not crushing the ball when he does guess right, so he has a bad approach. It's good to be patient unless it results in a K. It's good to be aggressive unless it results in a first pitch pop out. Swing as hard as you can, unless you pop out.

 

I think that each batter has a different skill set, so they need to find the approach that works best for them. The coach can only help so much. That's why batters get paid millions and batting coaches are a dime a dozen.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

The Twins Daily Caretaker Fund
The Brewer Fanatic Caretaker Fund

You all care about this site. The next step is caring for it. We’re asking you to caretake this site so it can remain the premiere Brewers community on the internet. Included with caretaking is ad-free browsing of Brewer Fanatic.

×
×
  • Create New...