April 21, 2009

Tiz Tweaks Swing, Shows Power To Left

After a 2-for-4 day on Monday, David Ortiz is still hitting only .196. But he thinks he and hitting coach Dave Magadan have identified (and fixed) some flaws in his swing that may have been slowing his bat.

Ortiz said that before his last at-bat on Sunday, Magadan
showed me something that we both agreed on. That's why that guy was throwing 88 and throwing a fastball by me. I was wondering why because I was hitting the ball good. ... It doesn't matter how hard the pitcher is throwing. If you're late, you're late. We've been working on that and like I said, I'm very mechanical. If I don't have everything going the way I normally do, I get in trouble easily.
Late last week, Magadan noticed that
Ortiz has been cocking his hands into a hitting position too late, the same problem that has crept up on Ortiz when struggles surfaced in the past ... Magadan showed Ortiz two pictures, one from last year during a hot streak and one from this year. In the first, Ortiz had his hands back, ready to swing, while the ball was halfway to the plate. In the second picture, Ortiz was in an identical position, but the pitch had nearly reached the plate.
When I'm swinging the bat good, I hit to left field naturally, without even thinking about it. And when I'm slumping like I have been and I start hitting the ball to left field, it tells me it's coming around
Both his double and triple yesterday were to left field.

Michael Silverman, Herald:
Jed Lowrie will have surgery on his troublesome left wrist this morning, the first step in a procedure that should have him back with the Red Sox by the end of June.

Lowrie was examined by Phoenix-based Dr. Donald Sheridan. The wrist specialist recommended Lowrie have a procedure to scope the wrist and remove the ulnar styloid.
Lowrie said he was given a timetable of 6-8 weeks to be back on a major league field.

"It's the best news I could have received that gave me a timeline, fingers crossed, I'll be back in 6-8 weeks. The bone is going to be taken out and not cause me any more pain," said Lowrie by phone from Phoenix. "(Dr. Sheridan) didn't find anything new, but he says the injury wouldn't have gotten better without surgery. I would have been able to rehab it again and then it probably would have relapsed again, he was pretty sure.
Julio Lugo is now in Pawtucket for the start of his rehab assignment. The Sox will likely be doubly cautious with Lugo, since Nick Green has been solid in the field and has a decent .321 OBP.

Justin Masterson simply wants to pitch:
Just give me the ball ... I don't care when it is. ... I'm hoping Dice K gets back as quick as he can. I don't know when I'm pitching next or what's going on. I'm fine with that. ...

I wanted to keep the intensity I had coming in from the bullpen when it seemed my velocity kind of elevated, and really just keep that intensity coming into my start.
Terry Francona:
Masterson went out and not only threw the ball well early, he maintained it, which is not that easy to do. The life on his fastball and the depth on his breaking ball were tremendous from start to end. He did a great job.
Tito Explains It All: On the just-completed four-game sweep of the Orioles and current five-game winning streak (longest streak since last May):
That's why you don't panic the first two weeks of the season. ... We say it every year, but it happens. Everything gets blown out of proportion and you just try to play good baseball because at some point in the season, when you start logging enough at-bats and innings, you get into the grind. And if you're good, it shows.

Fidrych Follow-up: A comment from JohnnyTwisto in a B-Ref "Stat of the Day" post:
Here's one: Fidrych has the 2nd most complete games (24) of any first-year pitcher in the live ball era (since 1920). #1 is Dave Ferriss, with 26 in 1945. Ferriss wasn't just a creation of weakened war ball, because in '46 he was just as good, going 25-6, 3.25, and another 26 CG. But he faded after that, only 19 more wins the rest of his career. Arm trouble, I suppose.
Wikipedia cites "arm troubles and asthma"; asthma also led to his early discharge from the military.


nick said...

Longest winning streak since last May? wow. Guess last year wasn't all that streaky (least on the winning front).

allan said...

I'm quoting Ian Browne: "The five-game winning streak by the Red Sox is their longest since winning seven in a row last May 17-22."