You all know we have a new hitting coach this year, Dwayne Murphy got the job Gene Tenace 'retired' during the off season. Tenace, in interviews, referred to his philosophy as 'grip and rip' which I didn't really believe. He is far to smart a man for a three word sound bite to be what he believed as far as hitting is concerned. Tenace was kind of a breath of fresh air taking over from Gary Denbo whose 'take a pitch' philosophy didn't really connect with his players.
But is it time we started thinking about a different hitting coach? Right now we lead the league in strikeouts by 23 over the team with the next most strikeout. That by itself wouldn't be so bad but we also don't see many pitches, we are last in the league in pitches per plate appearance too. A strange combination, because to strikeout you have to see 3 pitches.
We are second last in the league in batting average, dead last in OBP. But then we are leading the league in doubles and home runs and just slightly better than league average in runs per game.
We have one guy on the team that is hitting really well, Vernon Wells (.333/.400/.716). Another guy with pretty good numbers, Alex Gonzalez (.284/.308/.580), but whose average has dropped from .349 to .284 in 11 games, hitting .222 in that time. Adam Lind is hitting about what you'd expect (.296/.376/.506). And Jose Bautista's, well Jose Bautista, except better (.234/.344/.481).
At the other end we have 5 guys batting under .200: Buck, Overbay, Snider, Hill and Ruiz. Being fair, Hill has been hurt and looks like he is still hurting and Ruiz.....it's pretty tough to hit when you are sitting on the bench. The rest of the team is hitting in the low .200's.
Now a lot of these guys aren't great hitters, no batting coach could help some of them. And Overbay's been in the game long enough that if the hitting coach is telling him things that aren't working he should ignore.
Now Cito's been a hitting coach for years, and I doubt Murphy would say anything to the hitters not approved by Cito. But we do seem to be swinging from the heels a lot. Maybe Murphy's voice isn't the one for this group of hitters? Or maybe it is still early.
What do you think?