Magadan: "Right now (Pedroia) is pressing a little bit
This entry was posted on 6/22/2009 2:06 PM and is filed under uncategorized.
Here's a few minutes with Red Sox hitting coach Dave Magadan, who spoke with Hacks with Haggs about Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia. The reigning AL MVP's batting average is down to .286 and he's been struggling for the entire month of June while batting out of the leadoff spot. Pedroia's numbers for the month are .178/.250/.455 in 73 at bats during a pretty decent sample size in May. This blogger felt it was a byproduct of hitting leadoff, but perhaps it's merely Pedroia attempting to mirror some of the power numbers from last season when he popped 17 homers en route to the MVP Award.
Magadan also pointed toward a stretch early last season when Pedroia was struggling with a nagging injury and hit only .260 during the entire month of May. The Little Second Baseman That Could is ahead of where he was last year in terms of everything but his home run numbers, but that hasn't stopped Lil' Pedey's frustration from bubbling over in his last few games.
What have you seen out of Pedroia at the plate recently? Seems like he is scuffling. DM: It seems like I’m seeing a lot of what I saw last year. I looked at his numbers last year at this time after 250 at bats, and his numbers are actually better this year than they were last year at this time. He’s hitting for a higher average, he’s walking more, he’s got more doubles than he did last year, but he’s got two less homers than he did last year at this time.
I showed him (the numbers from last year) and I told him don’t let the weight of what you did last year at this time get in the way of what you’re trying to accomplish this year. He probably got a little too concerned with his home runs. He hit 17 last year and he’s only got two (this season). He’s pressing a little bit and just like everybody else he’s trying to get two or three hits in every at bat. He’s just got to slow everything down, let the ball come to him and hit the ball where it’s pitched rather than trying to do too much with it.
Just hit the ball where it’s pitched. Right now he’s just pressing a little. I think that’s what it is.
It seems like there’s been some times where he’s definitely shown a little bit of frustration out on the field. DM: He has high expectations of himself like everybody in here. Everybody’s got high expectations and high abilities. So he expects a lot out of himself, and when he feels like he’s not meeting those lofty expectations that he has in his head he gets upset.
I hadn’t even thought about the power thing. I had looked more at Pedroia’s less-than-great numbers out of the leadoff spot. Could that have had anything to do with the struggles? DM: He hasn’t said anything to me about (being uncomfortable leading off). If the numbers bear that out then maybe that’s something that’s weighing on him a little bit. Maybe when you’re in that leadoff spot you lose some of your aggressiveness a little bit and you maybe are trying to work the count too much. But I just think he’s pressing right now.
Just like anybody else when they’re not getting hits or trying to make it all up in one at bat. He knows. He’s frustrated, but he knows the process. That’s why I wanted to show him those numbers. Because I was trying to remember back at this time and I was like ‘You know what? I remember when we were in Baltimore and he got down into the .270’s. Let me look’. And I actually looked during (Saturday's) game and they were exactly where I thought they were going to be. He’s got more than double the amount of walks he had at this time last year, so at least he’s doing his job getting on base.
The rest of this stuff will take care of itself. He’s got 400 more plate appearances this year, and in mid-August he’s not going to be concerned with this at all. Just like he was last year.
The power thing seems to make a lot of sense. That he doesn’t have as many home runs this year, and Pedroia is powering up a little to get the homer totals up there. DM: All that stuff weighs on a guy. I was watching the Marlins game and Hanley Ramirez hasn’t hit a home run in 25 games. You think about that stuff. I just want to make it clear to him that if we need him to hit home runs for this team when we’ve got some issues.
We just need him to hit his line drives, get on base, hit whatever he’s going to hit and keep having good at bat after good at bat. The numbers will take care of themselves.”