The LoHud Yankees Blog

A New York Yankees blog by Chad Jennings and the staff of The Journal News

Lower numbers and Rodriguez’s lower half

Posted by: Chad Jennings - Posted in Misc on Aug 03, 2010 Print This Post Print This Post | Email This Post Email This Post

Blue Jays Yankees Baseball

Forty-eight trips to the plate later, Alex Rodriguez is still looking for home run No. 600. He remained productive for a while, but he’s now hitless since Thursday.

Unless he gets unthinkably hot these last two months, Rodriguez could very well finish with the lowest home run total of his career, and certainly the lowest of the past decade. Whatever the root cause — whether it’s the hip, the PED past, or simply age — Frankie Piliere says the immediate blame lies in Rodriguez’s mechanics.

… what is hard to deny upon examination of his swing throughout the season is that it is no longer the efficient, balanced and explosive swing we are used to seeing.

To put it as simply as possible, A-Rod’s bat speed is not the same, and neither is his ability to consistently generate powerful swings. Rather than debate about what caused this, let’s dig into what the problem exactly is. Mechanically speaking, the questions are where has that bat speed gone and why is he not generating the same levels of power. Essentially, it all comes down to his lower half. When he’s right, no hitter has the balance and strength in the lower half that he does.

Hitters talk all the time about their lower half. It’s much mure fun to watch the hands fly through the zone, but the power comes from the legs. Whatever the underlying issue, the power clearly hasn’t been there for Rodriguez this season. His slugging percentage is exactly 100 points lower than his career slugging. He’s remained a productive part of a very productive lineup — 85 RBI is an impressive number regardless of home run totals – but the power has clearly slipped.




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