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  1. Another strong correlation is the PitchF/X values/100. He’s not hitting the high FB, the CB, or the CH. Same thing happened two years ago, where essentially he becomes a slider bad speed guy.

    Also, his home run bat speed/true distances are way off versus last season: 104.8/411 versus 107.3/424.

    Not only is he not hitting home runs, his doubles are way down, so it looks like he just isn’t driving the ball but catching mistakes once in a while. Because he’s so talented, I’m guessing Gibson thinks he’s offering value in the form of lineup protection just based on reputation. But it sure looks like injury to me.

    Very nice job, Chris.

    Comment by Paul — August 2, 2012 @ 9:40 am

  2. He still plays with some sort of thumb guard or otherwise wraps a bunch of tape or something around the left thumb of his batting glove.

    I tried to look up other front-hand thumb injuries a month or so ago to see how it affected the player’s pull numbers, but I couldn’t find anything comparable.

    I had suspected the thumb injury was still bothering him after a particularly awkward swing in the series against the Cubs immediately after the All Star break, where he completely let go of the bat with his front hand, but didn’t lose his grip at all with the right hand, and looked in pain afterwards.

    I wish I could find a video of it, but videos of awkward swings aren’t the easiest things to find.

    Comment by Anonymous — August 2, 2012 @ 9:52 am

  3. Looking at Heatmaps from last year and this year Two things look like big difference –

    1) vs lefties he is swing at alot more pitches down and away; which would make sense that those are getting rolled over and hit on the ground

    2) vs righies he is not swing at pitches middle in – last year heatmaps showed a red blob in the middle now its all a dull yellow

    It seems that hit plate discipline/pitch recognition is a bigger culprit that his shoulder/thumb

    Comment by jesse — August 2, 2012 @ 9:58 am

  4. My initial thought was that pitchers have made an adjustment and he’s just stubbornly sticking to his approach, or just not able to adjust. With a few years under his belt now, if either one of those is the culprit rather than injury, it may give credence to the trade rumors.

    Which makes this a really fascinating issue relating to his trade value. They’d be damn foolish to trade him for anything less than a major haul at least on the scale of what they gave up for Cahill (deal headlined by a top prospect starter). But then a trading team will need to be really confident that he’s just hurt and they may be able to get him for a minor bargain.

    This seems like an absolutely tailor-made AA scenario.

    Comment by Paul — August 2, 2012 @ 10:18 am

  5. Now that you mention it, I recall that he released at least one bat into the stands in the series against the Royals.

    Comment by Paul — August 2, 2012 @ 10:19 am

  6. His approach at the plate is different and I attribute it to the recent large contract. An excess of hubris has set in. If you look back at the last 3 years with Upton, pre-large contract, he came to the plate with the intention of making folks believe he belonged in the major leagues. He did this by coming to the plate with respect for the pitcher, a little scared/reticent if you will. This translated into focus and better production. You see this same concentration/focus currently with Goldschmidt, Bloomquist and Parra, three guys also trying to show that they belong. Now, post-contract, Upton comes to the plate with a “who the heck are you to pitch to me?” personna. He needs to show at least a modicum of respect for the pitchers he faces, come to the plate a little scared/apprehensive. Once he does, he’ll be more focused and the hits will follow.

    Comment by Keith Dunlap — August 2, 2012 @ 1:12 pm

  7. Um, you know he signed his current contract in ST of 2010, right?

    Comment by Dreamin — August 2, 2012 @ 1:15 pm

  8. …yes, I know, currently in 3rd year of 6 year deal….

    Comment by Keith Dunlap — August 2, 2012 @ 1:31 pm

  9. Something to consider when citing ‘Pizza Cutter’s’ research is that the man himself (Russell Carleton) recently revised his study over at Baseball Prospectus…

    Comment by BWOzar — August 2, 2012 @ 1:56 pm

  10. Great analysis.

    Comment by channelclemente — August 2, 2012 @ 2:02 pm

  11. Where are you getting the bat speed data from?

    Comment by channelclemente — August 2, 2012 @ 2:04 pm

  12. for both.

    Comment by Paul — August 2, 2012 @ 6:07 pm

  13. Keith is right; Upton needs to know his place. Once he re-learns who his master is, he’ll start pulling more fly balls with authority.

    Comment by Drew — August 2, 2012 @ 7:37 pm

  14. Shameful nonsense.

    Comment by NS — August 2, 2012 @ 11:58 pm

  15. Very good data but only make sense to me if Upton is injured his shoulder and thumb are keeping him from pulling the ball but he so good he’s gonna go on a roll down the stretch they know what it takes to get the next level

    Comment by carlos — August 3, 2012 @ 3:03 am

  16. Oh sure, because AA “the infallible” is the only GM with any brains whatsoever. Shut up AL East fanboy.

    Comment by Ruggiano's Pizza — August 3, 2012 @ 6:58 am

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