It’s not that anything more needs to be done. It’s not like Mike Trout desperately needed to fix the hole in his swing, lest he be in danger of suffering a complete collapse. Things were going just fine. That hole in Mike Trout’s swing, the one that kept him from hitting high fastballs, is like the Pablo Honey record in Radiohead’s discography. Would everything be better if it were just gone? I mean, yeah, technically. But the discography, as a whole, is still essentially flawless even with Pablo Honey, so we can all live with it.
Mike Trout went and deleted Pablo Honey anyway. It wasn’t necessary for survival, but everyone knew it was a problem, and everyone knew we’d be better off without it, so Trout went and fixed the hole in his swing. He started hitting those high fastballs, and no one ever had to hear Creep again and the world was a better place. But, listen. Someone’s gotta get in there and wipe out Fake Plastic Trees, too. Not all of The Bends; the rest of the record can stay. But Fake Plastic Trees has gotta go. Maybe I’m getting greedy, asking for even more tweaks after the big one’s already been made, but it certainly wouldn’t hurt.
This next tweak, it doesn’t have to do with Trout’s swing. For all intents and purposes, that’s about perfect. The high fastball was the only real weakness, and that’s been patched. When pitchers stopped throwing him high, they started throwing him outside, but that didn’t really work. Maybe you’d like to see Trout swing at a first-pitch curveball or two, but that’s a very minor thing, and Trout literally never swinging at first-pitch curveballs might actually be a feature, rather than a bug. Point is: the swing, for now, requires no further adjustments, and I’ve already linked to Jeff Sullivan about a hundred times in this piece. When Trout’s swing requires another adjustment, he’ll let you know.
It was exciting last year, knowing that Trout had this weakness, and knowing that Trout knew about this weakness, and knowing that Trout planned to fix the weakness. He’s never been shy about these things. During Spring Training, he came right out and said it:
“Plain and simple, I was chasing the high pitch. Everybody knows that,” Trout said. “The majority of time, they’re balls, and I was chasing them.”
Usually, us writers have to seek out these adjustments. We’ve got to watch with a close eye, and see if the numbers back it up, and then ask the player about it. In this case, Trout came right out and told us. “Hey, everybody. Makin’ an adjustment here. Free blog content.”
The next item on Trout’s to-do list isn’t exactly a secret, but Trout’s done us the favor of letting us know he’s planning on another adjustment:
Read the rest of this entry »