So pitchers adjusted to Puig, Puig adjusted to pitchers, and now pitchers have countered again.
“He’s making adjustments,” Mattingly told Chad Thornburg. “It’s a cat-and-mouse game all the time with the guys like him. You’re going to see pitchers try things. If it works, they’re going to keep trying it. If it doesn’t work, they’ll try something else.”
They should probably be brainstorming something else already. The transition back to fastballs hasn’t hurt Puig. He’s hitting again, and just as encouragingly, his K:BB has normalized. In the third 20-game chunk, Puig walked 16 times against 20 whiffs. Granted, five of those walks were intentional, four of them coming against the Rays over the weekend. But you don’t put a hitter on base on purpose if you think you can get him out with waste pitches, so Puig’s free passes reflect his opponents’ recognition of the adjustments he’s made.
Suddenly the Francoeur comp seems more silly than scary. Francoeur has never walked 11 times in a 10-game stretch, as Puig now has, and he didn’t come close to doing so in his rookie season. What’s really scary, and also exciting, is how quickly Puig altered his approach to correct a pattern that wasn’t working. Your move, major leagues.
Posted: August 13, 2013 at 12:06 AM | 0 comment(s)
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