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Thread: Article: Teams Throwing Morneau a Wrinkle

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    Owner Big-Leaguer Parker Hageman's Avatar
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    Article: Teams Throwing Morneau a Wrinkle

    @OverTheBaggy

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    Great read

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    Humbug!!!!

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    Owner Big-Leaguer Parker Hageman's Avatar
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    "Humbug!!!!" -- Care to elaborate?

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    Senior Member All-Star YourHouseIsMyHouse's Avatar
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    We have seen a lot of positives from Morneau this season and I'm glad he's starting to get things together. With his work ethic, I think he'll be able to adjust the same way pitchers are.

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    In all, nine of his 17 balls in play prior to last night’s game went to the left of dead center. While it is a small sample size, Morneau has hit 52% of his balls to the left of center in May which dwarf’s April’s 28%.

    Positive as that may be, Morneau’s season has been a bit perplexing, particularly in the plate discipline department.
    I am always confused when people make hitting to the opposite field such a goal or some sort of lofty ideal. In my mind the goal is to drive the ball. If one player does this by pulling the ball and another does this by driving the ball to the opposite field I don't see a difference. If the inability to pull the ball or hit it the other ways dramatically changes how teams pitch to you or defend you then it is something to be addressed but a double left field is the same as a double to right.

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    Owner Big-Leaguer Parker Hageman's Avatar
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    @jharaldson -- I wouldn't call it a goal but more of a barometer to how he is seeing and reacting to pitches. Morneau's ability to go the other way directly correlates to how opposing teams were pitching to him. In 2011, he was attempting to yank all of the pitches on the outer-half as his front side opened up too quickly. If he shows he is capable of driving that pitch the other way, teams will likely throw a few more pitches on the inner-half where he has proven he can pull hard.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by jharaldson View Post
    I am always confused when people make hitting to the opposite field such a goal or some sort of lofty ideal. In my mind the goal is to drive the ball. If one player does this by pulling the ball and another does this by driving the ball to the opposite field I don't see a difference. If the inability to pull the ball or hit it the other ways dramatically changes how teams pitch to you or defend you then it is something to be addressed but a double left field is the same as a double to right.

    That's answered in the article. If a pitch is thrown outside, it's hard to pull but easier to hit to the opposite field. The fact that Morneau is having success hitting it the other way means that the strategy of pitching him outside and letting him chase will (hopefully) be less effective.

  9. #9
    I am always confused when people make hitting to the opposite field such a goal or some sort of lofty ideal.
    I think the idea is, you can't pull when pitched outside, and hitting to the opposite field is more difficult than pulling the ball. So if a pitcher knows you can't hit to the opposite field, he'll just pitch you outside and let you ground out to second base (if you're a lefty).

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    Outside of the 8 games where he tried to play through a sore wrist at the end of April, Morneau is hitting .269/.338/.582. True, a couple more hits on curves in play would nudge the BA and OBP a little closer to his career standards (.280 & .352). But if he can keep producing the way he has when healthy, I've got no complaints.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Parker Hageman View Post
    @jharaldson -- I wouldn't call it a goal but more of a barometer to how he is seeing and reacting to pitches. Morneau's ability to go the other way directly correlates to how opposing teams were pitching to him. In 2011, he was attempting to yank all of the pitches on the outer-half as his front side opened up too quickly. If he shows he is capable of driving that pitch the other way, teams will likely throw a few more pitches on the inner-half where he has proven he can pull hard.
    Good points, the opposite field increase isn't a good thing in itself but indicates he is fixing an issue that was preventing him from hitting last year and earlier this year. The odd thing is I was always taught when a RHP is facing a LH that you pull the curve because it is breaking in to you and when a LHP is facing a LH you go opposite because the ball is breaking away from you. Given this increase of curveballs to Justin I and the fact that most pitchers ar RH I would have anticipated an increase in pulled pitches but I assume plate location has something to do with that as well.

  12. #12
    Great article. I have been yelling this to Morneau all season. Unfortunately he can't hear me through my tv. It's great to see him going the other way successfully rather than always chasing the away pitches which means (I hope) not all of the pitches he'll be fed will be away. Seems like we're seeing that a bit with Willingham now too. He has also hit a few away balls the other way instead of only being able to pull those pitches up and in (his fave).

  13. #13
    May be he could teach his technique to Mr. Willingham and Mr. Doumit.

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by Parker Hageman View Post
    @jharaldson -- I wouldn't call it a goal but more of a barometer to how he is seeing and reacting to pitches. Morneau's ability to go the other way directly correlates to how opposing teams were pitching to him. In 2011, he was attempting to yank all of the pitches on the outer-half as his front side opened up too quickly. If he shows he is capable of driving that pitch the other way, teams will likely throw a few more pitches on the inner-half where he has proven he can pull hard.
    Players that are driving the ball to the opposite field gap are hitting at there peak. This has always been true. Look at when Cuddyer, Hunter and Morneau have been at there best. They are naturally pull hitters but are always the hottest when driving the ball the other way once or twice a game. Morneau looks like he is getting back to pre-injury form. If he hits .270 with 85 RBI and 25 homers is it a successful season?

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    Super Moderator MVP ashburyjohn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jeffk View Post
    I think the idea is, you can't pull when pitched outside, and hitting to the opposite field is more difficult than pulling the ball. So if a pitcher knows you can't hit to the opposite field, he'll just pitch you outside and let you ground out to second base (if you're a lefty).
    Gee, all of a sudden another guy whose last name starts with M comes to mind.

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