Tuesday, June 4, 2013
By Jason A. Churchill
We've checked in on struggling third baseman Mike Moustakas, regularly this season, and the numbers remain ugly. I keep this running entry, by the way, because it's baffling that a player like Moustakas is scuffling in this manner. His weakness was supposed to be defense at third, and he's managing quite well there, but all the while tossing up a goose egg with the bat.
Moustakas, battling a quad injury f late, and is now batting .186/.257/.304 for the season. Oddly, he has just 19 singles all season, despite a solid contact rate. Some worrisome statistics attached to Moustakas' resume this season is a line drive rate that has sunk more than three percent and a big spike in fly balls, up to 51 percent after finishing 2012 at 49.8 percent, which led baseball. Too many fly balls, however, are certainly going to impact the batting average.
ESPN Insider's Keith Law checked in on Moustakas and suggests a few fixes might help him get things going:
Keith LawSwing fix for Moustakas?
"I wish I could offer such a concrete opinion on Mike Moustakas' struggles, but there's nothing so glaringly different about his swing today. He's taking a much longer stride -- he used to have a minimal stride, just a short step forward that was more about having a trigger than transferring his weight -- and rather than whipping the bat through the zone as he used to do, he's almost dragging it behind him. It's possible that shortening his stride would help restore the lost bat speed, or at least keep him a little more closed through contact. He always rolled over his lead foot a little, but that's more pronounced today than it was when he was in the minors. Hosmer can at least get by now because his plate discipline is so strong, but that's always been a weak point of Moustakas', and he needs to hit to justify his place in the lineup, and right now his line is .180/.252/.309. I'd at least start by shortening his stride, if only to see if that can produce some short-term benefits."