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Sunday, February 23, 2014

Matheny wants pitchers to cut down strikeouts — at bat

Call it the Dennis Austerity (0 fer 2 ~ 2 K’s) act.

But the strikeouts concern manager Mike Matheny — when his pitchers are hitting. Cardinals pitchers batted just .126 last year, with 139 strikeouts — one off the league high. They walked only 10 times.

Matheny said he wants his staff not only to improve its bunting but its ability to move runners or even start rallies with hits. And while there was a short workout Saturday because of an autograph session for Roger Dean Stadium ticket holders, there was an extra session of hitting for the pitchers.

“We’re going to be a better hitting group of pitchers this year,” Matheny said. “They do so much talking about how athletic they are but they were not content with what they were able to do on the offensive side last year.”

...“There were a lot of swings and misses,” Matheny said. “We were one of the worst teams in baseball with strikeouts from the pitcher’s position. That just shouldn’t be so.

“Not that we’re telling them to swing for the fences. Part of it is changing the mindset. ‘What am I trying to do here?’

“Every time they get on base, we’re rolling that lineup over and we’re bringing up some guys with the potential to do something,” Matheny said.

“When they’re taking their swings, this isn’t just a ‘let’s see how far I can hit the ball thing.’ Let’s do this with a purpose. But there’s always that risk-reward. We want them to improve their hitting but there’s always that chance they’ll try to do too much.”

Repoz Posted: February 23, 2014 at 11:45 AM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: cardinals, dh now

 

 

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