Comments

  1. Adam said...

    Those “eye drops” sure are working.  Any idea who will DH for the Sox when he’s out for 50 games?

  2. Troy Patterson said...

    I’m still worried with the K% holding at 27%.  Since June 6 he has had a K% of 25.6%.

    I still say the bat speed is down, but not as bad as the first two months of the season.  His hittrackeronline.com data is not pretty either.  3 lucky homers and 3 just enough homers. (2 of the Just Enoughs are Lucky)

    I am not sold he is back yet.

  3. Steve said...

    I’m not entirely sold that he is back either.  I think any mental aspect of his slump can be taken out of the picture with his recent surge. 

    Even a blind squirrel finds a nut though.  The physical skills are still shaky.

  4. Slugger O'Toole said...

    Troy-

    You’re right that the K rate is still cause for alarm, but I question the idea that bat speed is the main culprit. Papi has looked just awful on breaking balls this season swinging at a lot of pitches in the dirt with 2 strikes. That could be due to pressing because he is struggling or, it could be because he is starting his swing earlier due to a loss of bat speed. I tend to believe it has been more of the former, because he does not seem to less of a pull hitter on his line drives and ground balls this season. His BABIP has been way down from his career levels, signaling some of his struggling is bad luck. The HR/FB rate is still disturbing as is the hit tracker info, but I think a turnaround is in progress.

    Given all of the talk about Papi’s bat speed, I am curious as to why there hasn’t been a mechanical breakdown of his swing from ‘07 and from this season on THT or a similar site. Carlos Gomez used to do excellent work on these issues before he left for the show. Does anyone know thing I haven’t seen?

  5. Troy Patterson said...

    This study was run on an interesting date (June 5, right before this run), but the study is still something to look at. http://actasports.com/sow.php?id=213

    There is no control group, but Ortiz has lost about 30 feet on his balls hit in the air since 2007.  Has it gone up since June 5?  I don’t know, but I would like to see his bat speed over the years.

  6. Slugger O'Toole said...

    I was referring to a video based study of his mechanics, not to batted ball data, but thanks anyway. It does seem that Papi is hitting flyballs shorter than he used to but that doesn’t prove that he has lost bat speed. Such things are easier to show in frame-by-frame analysis. Stats only show a result attributable to that cause or possibly others, not the cause in this particular case.

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