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Hardy since June 1


.217/.299/.326.

 

Ugh!.

 

That hitting in front of two of the most dangerous hitters in baseball.

 

We all knew JJ would cool off after his hot start but to this extent?

 

I think we are seeing the effect of Hardy not playing full seasons. He seemingly "hit the wall" 200 AB's into this season. Right now our middle infield is horrible.

 

Anyone thinking Bill Hall has perhaps not played his last game in the infield?

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Anyone thinking Bill Hall has perhaps not played his last game in the infield?

 

At this point I am hoping for simply Hall has not played his last game in 2007.

 

We had Graffy starting in LF last night. That is not cool. We have problems in the OF with Hall's absence.

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I disagree with the possible move of Hall, but totally agree on Hardy wearing down. I said at the break that I wish he wasn't an all-star. He is dragging. Is it just me, or does he run like he has a piece of glass stuck in his foot. I also think his range is less right now and even his arm seems a little weaker. I suppose this is common for a guy that just hasn't played that much.
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my perspective is simple. JJ is being pitched to differently. He's getting nearly every pitch thrown on the outer half of the plate. For a hitter who used to proclaim that he was a dead-pull hitter, it's easy to understand why he's not performing as well. Throw in that he's not taking bad pitches anymore, and jumping at far more pitches out of the zone, and you have a recipe for diminished production.
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Some other depressing numbers:

 

Hart since June 24:

.227/.274/.455

 

Jenkins since June 2:

.210/.273/.380

 

Rickie since June 18 (when he came off the DL):

.138/.263/.231

 

You get all four on these guys in the lineup at once, plus the pitcher's spot, and you've got some serious coldness. (Thus the lack of runs lately.)

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He needs to work on his plate discipline. Like Hall JJ's a bit of a hacker out there. Pitchers have realized he's coming up swinging and looking to put the ball in play. So they're throwing him junk and he's still swinging.
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The chances of Bill Hall moving out of CF this year are extraordinarily low. The Brewers have said time and time again they are committed to him there for the time being. At this point, why waste months of defensive development (and the pratfalls that have occurred thereof) for Billy in CF, just because JJ may or may not the rest of the year?

 

The chances of JJ Hardy moving out of the starting lineup this year on a regular basis are extraordinarily low. He hasn't been hitting since the end/middle of May, that's true. However, he has still been fielding the ball extremely well the whole time. And Hall hasn't played SS in what, 8 or 9 months?

 

I would be in favor of dropping Hardy in the lineup for awhile to get his bat going, but taking him out of the lineup completely isn't going to happen.

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Would it be a terrible idea to flip flop JJ and Weeks for awhile to see if it could spark both of them?

 

I think the 8th spot is a bad spot for Weeks right now just because hitting in front of the pitcher they give him nothing to hit, but trying to snap out of his funk..he's swinging anyways.

 

Maybe putting him in front of Braun and Fielder would get him some fastballs to hit. Plus his speed at the top would be nice.

 

It doesn't have to be a permanant change, but maybe for a few games to see what happens.

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Taking it one step further. Since the all-star break.

Fielder (.363 with 4K), Braun (.250 with 7K), Hart (.208 with 7K), Jenkins (.150 with 5K), Hardy (.143 with 4K) and Estrada (.125 with 3K).

 

Not very good 1-through 6 except for Prince. It looks to me as they are all feeling a little pressure with the Cubby's breathing down their back.

 

However, the only one I am really concerned about is Braun. He hits in the prefect spot in the line up. He basically only sees fast ball because of Prince and all the others are seeing every pitch in the pitchers arsenal. The rest of the line up will work through their slumps, but with Braun it might be a little tougher. I think he could use a few days off in the next couple of weeks to refresh himself for the stretch run of August and Sept.

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Who said Hall would replace Hardy?

 

I said IF, not necessarily SS.

 

As for Hardy "hitting it well but right at the fielders", I must be watching a different game. I see a ton of routine groundballs and popups in the infield.

 

And as for "undisciplined" hitting, I think that's true but not to the extent that he's up there just hacking at everything. Look, no pitcher in his right mind is going to nibble with Hardy and have to face Braun and Fielder back to back. So JJ has to look to be swinging. But I think he's up there trying to get that high fastball that he can drive all the time and he's not getting it so he takes thigh high and lower pitches early in the count that he could smash up the middle, then he gets behind and becomes undisciplined.

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Given that Jenkins concealed a broken pelvis (!) from the rest of us, I can't help but think Hardy is injured. Back. Knee. Foot. Whatever.

 

Before he was taken out a few weeks ago, and sat out for a few days, he was walking like a grandma. And, not even referring to the obvious stats, remember how he was just cracking the ball at the beginning of the season, seemed to be right on everything? Not so much anymore. His glove has been fine, but this is one more thing to put in my Dread Queue.

 

(And, by the way, I love this site for its statheads. You do the work that the people who get paid to cover the Brewers should be doing.)

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Look, no pitcher in his right mind is going to nibble with Hardy and have to face Braun and Fielder back to back. So JJ has to look to be swinging

 

for a hitter that doesn't strike out much and has a good eye, he's sure been chasing a lot of letter and shoulder high pitches, along with pitches in the dirt. In April, he was taking these. Lately, his strike zone has been huge. Wouldn't it make sense that hitting infront of Braun and Fielder that he'd see more good pitches to swing at? In that case, it's not hacking.

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"Your entire post was about Hardy"

 

Not exactly And That. I said in first post "right now our middle infield is terrible". That was right before I made a suggestion (just a suggestion mind you) about Hall as an infield (not specifically SS) solution.

 

Besides, there's already a thread about Weeks.

 

As for your saying the Brewers are committed to Hall in OF, I couldn't agree more. But the fact that Graffanino played LF last night shows the wheels are turning in management's heads right now trying to find solutions. It's nitty-gritty time now. Long range plans go out the window. It's what they do from now until October that counts.

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i agree that hardy looks a bit injured. any time that he has to flat out run it looks like he's hobbling somehow. i can't figure it out yet, but to me its plain as day. the glass in the foot reference isn't far off...he just looks like he can't run full speed at all.
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I don't know if JJ (or any of these guys) is really 'doing' anything wrong, aside from not seeing the ball well. Mechanically they may be some slight tweaks to be made, but we just need to be patient & realize that no player is capable of maintaining the torrential production we got from Prince & JJ in the first half. He'll be fine, just as Braun will be fine when he has to fight through his first real slump (and just like Prince did fine getting back through his). Once the ball starts looking big again to JJ, he'll be back to his mashing ways. But no one should be surprised that the division-leading Brewers got heavily re-scouted, from top to bottom.
Stearns Brewing Co.: Sustainability from farm to plate
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The pitchers have made the adjustment on him, and he has been unable to make an adjustment in return, which is the name of the game. They pound him on the outside corner, and when you try and pull that pitch, you're going to hit a routine groundball to short. If you watch our best hitters (Braun, Fielder) they take that ball the opposite way, which makes them much more difficult to pitch to. I would say Corey Hart is having the same problem as Hardy. All that, combined with the fact that both seem to be pressing and swinging at pitches out of the zone, makes for a slump.
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Personally I think the bigger factor for JJ right now is not getting the breaks. Sure they're learning how to pitch to him, and he's swinging at pitches he shouldn't, but when he is hitting, he has been hitting it pretty well lately I think. Its right on a line, but right at someone unfortunately. Hall was doing the same thing before his little surge in numbers too.
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Quote:
Anyone have a "scout/coach" viewpoint on what J.J. might be doing?

 

From what I see, and as others have mentioned here, there are two related issues at play.

 

1. His strike zone has expanded upwards, and he's attempting to hit those balls hard. He has only 2 walks in the month of July

 

2. Pitchers are pounding him outside after getting the first strike (which anecdotally it seems he's laying off more), and he's often trying to pull those balls, which is extremely difficult to do.

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I'm not too worried about it. Players go through slumps and hot streaks. JJ will pick it up as we near the end of the season. Luckily, right now our pitching is stepping up and keeping us in close games. There is a reason we have as many runs scored this year as we do, and that is that we have a very good offense. We just gotta get through this rough spell.
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let me throw out a very likely possibiliy...

 

he was playing way over his head for the first two months, and now he's playing below his ability...allowing his numbers to regress towards what was eexpected of him...something like 25 homers and an .800 ops

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