Jorge Castillo of The Star-Ledger had an interesting article earlier today about Alfonso Soriano and his struggle to adjust to life as a primarily bench/platoon player. Within the article, Castillo gets a lot of good quotes from Soriano about the transition, how he feels about the demotion, and what he tries to do to stay ready, and for the most part it's all good stuff. But Soriano's self-evaluation when it comes to his hitting leaves a bit to be desired:
"The most important thing is the ability with my hands is there. The most important things are health and the hands. I feel like my bat is there, too."
Al. Buddy. Dude. I don't know what you think you're feeling in your hands when you're up to bat, but I'm telling you it's not ability. You haven't drawn a walk all month. You've been striking out in over 35% of your plate appearances since the start of May. You've hit .212/.212/.273 this month and your season slash line would put you in the bottom 10% of hitters in MLB if you had enough PA to qualify for the batting title. You're not showing any ability. Your bat is not there. I mean, it's literally there, in your ability-lacking hands, but not "there" in a sense that you're doing anything good with it.
I get that you'd like to be getting some more run, but you've got to do a little more to convince Joe that your bat is actually useful than just say it. Trying using it to hit a ball into a gap or over an outfield wall every now and then. That might help. What won't help is saying that you think it's there when it's not. That type of talk would have me walking you into the trainer's office to be concussion tested if I was the manager.
August 24, 1996: Yankees edge A’s 5-4
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