Thursday, April 3, 2014

Soriano's Early Results Show Signs Of Lingering Spring Training Rust

(Courtesy of Texas Leaguers)

That's Alfonso Soriano's swing plot through the first 2 games of the season.  As you can see, it's all over the place.  Soriano has seen 36 pitches in his 8 plate appearances and he's swung at 19 of them.  Of those 19 swings, he's swung and missed 8 times and put the ball in play 4.  None of those balls in play have gone for hits and the other half of his 8 PA have ended in strikeouts.  Needless to say, that's not the production you're looking for from a player in a run-producing spot of the lineup.

Soriano missed a fair amount of time early in Spring Training because of his bout with the flu and the time needed to catch back up limited the number of in-game ABs he got.  That swing plot above is indicative of a hitter who's not seeing the ball well and doesn't have his timing at the plate and that's almost certainly a direct result of that early missed time.  Soriano is expanding his strike zone all over the place and taking a lot of bad swings at bad pitches to hit, but there's no reason to panic based on 8 PA.  As he gets more reps, gets more comfortable at the plate, and gets his timing back, this issue should correct itself.  If the rest of the lineup had hit over the first 2 games, Soriano's struggles wouldn't stick out as much as they do.

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