Wednesday, March 02, 2005

The Inning-Endy-O-Meter

That clanging you heard at about 2:30 this afternoon wasn't the sound of Jeffrey Hammonds' iron glove, it was the Inning-Endy-O-Meter stirring to life for the first time this year.

Two outs, bottom of the third, and our fair-to-medicore hero strides to the plate. Four pitches later, there are three outs and Endy Chavez assumes the pose he's destined to take many times this year--standing on the field helplessly, waiting for one of his teammates to bring his glove in from the dugout. Maybe to save time in the future, he could just bring it to the plate with him. (I wonder if Frank Robinson has designated someone as his official glove getter?)

Now that I've gotten that out of my system, I went back and looked at Endy's ABs. If you're so inclined, you can follow along here. Endy's ABs are at the 14:00 minute and 47:30 minute mark.

He led off the bottom of the first against a lefty, Tom Glavine. (I really hope that FRobby's not in the habit of leading Chavez off against LHP, especially)

Endy took the first pitch, a strike up in the zone. It didn't look like he was inclined to swing. Next pitch, he swung, barely getting a piece and fouled it off towards the first base dugout. Third pitch, Glavine threw a junk fastball down and in, not especially close to the plate, which Endy took for a ball--it was nice to see that he wasn't overly anxious on an 0-2 pitch. Finally, on 1-2, Glavine threw him a big sweeping breaking ball low and away, running off the plate, which Endy swung feebly at. It was the typical left-handed batter against a left-handed pitcher kinda swing and nothing really particular to Endy's batting style.

Overall, it wasn't a bad approach. He seemed determined to not swing at that first pitch, which unfortunately put him in a hole. Once he got down 0-2, he was helpless, as most LHBs would be in that situation.

For his second AB, he faced Mets closer, Braden Looper. Just like his previous AB, he got a fastball upstairs in the zone for a called strike. Again, it seemed like Endy is going for the Wade Boggs approach of never swinging at the first pitch, which is only bad if it becomes a noticeable pattern for the opposing scouts to pick apart. Second pitch was a breaking ball that stayed inside, which he took for a ball. Third pitch was some sort of offspeed, either a bad changeup or an ugly curveball, which was way outside the zone, down and away. Ahead 2-1, Endy got a pitch over the plate, slightly inside (It was either a fastball, or a slider. I'm leaning towards slider), which he bounced weakly off the dirt in front of the plate. It forced Kaz Matsui to charge it from second, he fielded on the grass and threw easily to first.

Not a particularly great AB, but nothing damning either. It'd be nice if he wouldn't tap out weakly when he's ahead in the count, but the agressiveness was ok.

Obviously, you can't discern much from just two ABs, especially this early in the spring, but it'll be fun to track his progress and see if he really can improve.


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