Adrianza Returns, Hopes To Remain Hot With Bat
Image courtesy of Seth Stohs, Twins Daily (photo of Ehire Adrianza)Following a doubleheader on May 11th against the Detroit Tigers, Ehire Adrianza was hitting .130/.238/.185 (.423) with just one extra base hit. In fairness, that one extra base hit was a big one. Twins fans will certainly recall that Adrianza hit a solo home run off of Astros ace Justin Verlander on April 29th in a Twins 1-0 win at Target Field.
It’s fair to say that at that time, things were not going well for Adrianza. One might wonder how close the front office may have been from letting Adrianza go.
Recently Adrianza acknowledged, “At the beginning of the season, I was rushing things. I was trying to get three base hits every at bat.”
However, manager Rocco Baldelli continued to play Adrianza, showing belief in his offense and certainly in his defense around the infield. Baldelli’s theory and plan to make sure his roster is rested means plenty of playing time for everyone on the roster. The coaches helped as well, and Adrianza recognized assistant hitting coach Rudy Hernandez as being very helpful.
“At the beginning of the season, I talked to the guys. I talked to Rudy. They told me to Slow down, the numbers will be there, you just have to trust the process, keep working hard. The results are showing up now. It’s because of those guys and my teammates. When I was struggling, they supported me. They got my back. Obviously the coaching staff too. That’s really important.”
Adrianza certainly responded to their confidence. After hitting .130 in his first 22 games of the season, Adrianza hit .415/.500/.623 (1.123) with two doubles and three home runs over his next 21 games.
Adrianza noted that he didn’t really change anything mechanically, but he remained confident that if he continued to work hard and concentrate, things would improve.
“I never changed my approach from the beginning of the season to this point. I’m just seeing the ball better, maybe being a little more aggressive early in the count. Also I’ve tried to concentrate on what the pitcher is trying to do. Especially with the relievers. Are they trying to go outside or inside? What he’s doing? That’s helping me out a lot.”
Part of Adrianza’s daily preparation is usage of video. He noted, “I am a big video guy. I like to see every pitcher in the bullpen. When I’m in the lineup, I like to see the starting pitcher obviously.”
Of course, the one given when it comes to Ehire Adrianza is his ability to play sound defense. He understands his role and what got him here.
“That’s why I got to the big leagues, because of my defense. I take great pride in my defense. I love playing defense. It’s a big part of my game.”
It was a tough start to the season for Ehire Adrianza. But he is able to compartmentalize and learn from his successes and failures. That’s how he has remained in the big leagues and why he should remain for years to come.
“I was overthinking too much at the beginning of the season. You don’t want to go 0-for-4 every game. You try to do the best you can to improve your game, to help the team to win. Right now I think I’m doing a pretty good job. I just have to keep working hard.”
Adrianza returns to the Twins active roster today after missing the last ten days on the Injured List with a stomach ailment. He is in the Twins lineup, batting seventh and playing shortstop.
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