Friday, May 10, 2013
Jennings turning it around?
By Jason A. Churchill
Tampa Bay Rays centerfielder Desmond Jennings had a rough first 22 games of the season, bating .226 with an on-base percentage below .300. Such struggles got me wondering whether or not skipper Joe Maddon might consider using Ben Zobrist in the leadoff spot, but Jennings must have an ESPN Insider subscription, because since that time he's turned it up a notch.
Jennings, who singled and walked Thursday, has hit in 10 of his last 11 games, including three multi-hit efforts and five extra-base hits. He's still striking out at a a high rate, but he's hitting the ball hard with some regularity and working the count.
The season numbers still are a bit ugly, but since April turned to May Jennings is up to .294/.359/.471 and his season OBO is up to .318. The recent results likely mean he remains in the leadoff spot, though it's tough to predict what Maddon will do next. David Price in right field batting in the 3-hole? OK, that's absurd.