So, Where is Justin Smoak Right Now?

Triangulation, dept.

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Q.  Smoak has an OPS up 'round 1.000 in September and he has the 5:7 EYE, the improved StrSw% rates, and every other number to back it up.  But what does the scouting eye say?

A.  :: blinks :: He suddenly realizes that he hadn't watched a Smoak at-bat since the callup ...

Ran off to eyeball Mr. E=M2Cliff Lee on the DVR.  Whaaaaaaa?  Differn't player here.  And when did he start keeping the top hand on the bat, by the way?  Did he hit the long homers with that swing? ... sho' nuff ... 

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Q.  Well, so is it the swing or what?

A.  The swing isn't really the difference.  Well, it's a root cause of the difference, or a parallel cause of the difference at best ...

Wow, Smoak is letting the pitches drive realllly deep on him.  He's looking almost John Olerud'ish up there.  The pitcher lets the ball go, Smoak sort of tilts his head in a little, takes a good loooooonnnnnnng look, and then unleases a sudden, powerful swing starting from a long bat wrap.

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Q.  So that would take the ball the other way?

A.  Surprisingly, he's letting the ball get much deeper and ... pulling it better, with more authority.  Here is his wimpy August spray chart and here is his authoritative September spray chart.   Notice too that his groundouts are higher in September as he gets on top of the ball better.   Check it out as he smashes the top half of a high Sheppers 94 fastball for a home run.

He's letting the ball come to him and then he is attacking it.  It's simply the difference between Rocky doing rope-a-dope, taking a beating, vs. his getting mad grrrrrrr and swinging back.  Smoak's longer HR's etc are simply his swinging with bad intentions.

Some things we say represent our personal opinion.  That isn't one of them.  Read between the lines on Wedge's comments and you'll get the same thing, as far as "doing something with it" when he lets the bat go.

Smoak's doing that now.

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Q.  So he's ready to hit .358 / .414 / .547 now?

A.  Naaaahhhhh... the funny thing is, when a slider or change or curve comes in there on him, he can't see it.

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Q.  Um, what.

A.  He hacks at bendy pitches and misses them by embarrassing margins.  We wondered about it and thought.... hm, okay, he's got his thoughts organized.  He's not confused now.  He has an idea up there.  He knows what he wants and he's going after it.

So why the ugly results on offspeed (in this particular game Sunday)?  Well..... that's what would happen if your pitch recognition were behind.  So we sauntered over to TexasLeaguers.com expecting to find that his swings and misses on fastballs were all real good, and that all of his swings and misses were on curves.

That is the case.

It's the case to a radical degree.  In September, he's seen 128 fastballs, swung at 65 of them, and missed the ball a grand total of 6 times.  Amazing.  In contradistinction, he misses 17% of all changeups thrown and 11% of all sliders.  He hasn't put a slider in play in September.  0.0%.  On the other hand, he puts 35% of all fastballs thrown into play.

It's just pitch recognition.

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Q.  Leaving him where?

A.  Well, so if this interpretation be true ... Hang on one sec couldja.  

NEXT

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rick82I guess the Mariners don't hate Montero after all.4 min 6 sec ago
wufnersTip of the hat to you DaddyO. Always good to see you around. I'm like a Mariner exec these days. Checking stuff out, but rarely taking a part in the action.7 min 25 sec ago
bsrA's just dropped their failed $10M closer. Being off by one year on Morse doesn't bug me. That's the point of these type of deals, you roll the dice once and walk away from the table if it comes up snake eyes. Hart has come up snake eyes. If we decide to move on I won't be upset.12 min 41 sec ago
benihanaIf Jesus stays up, it is to replace Hart.16 min 57 sec ago
benihanaMorales played a full 3rd of his games for Minnesota at 1B. Without an error, and with identical range factors as career norms. He's also had a very, very long offseason to rest. No time like the present to play him in the field. He's not coming off injury like Hart. Plus, you can always make it a 3 to make 2 platoon. With Morrison playing 1b with Morales as DH against R. Morales at 1B, Hart at DH v. Left.17 min 39 sec ago
DaddyOWUFNERS!!! Welcome, mate! Missed my brother from another mother.24 min 14 sec ago
SABR MattLOL moj...patience...one day isn't going to kill us...Montero DH tonight.24 min 54 sec ago
mojicianMariners Web site says Morales is not playing until Friday. What's wrong with right now? He can pack his stuff later, or someone else can pack his stuff who isn't in a pennant race. There are some Orioles that need to be crushed! Morales has already missed the Delta and Alaska Air flights for the afternoon, but its only a three hour and 20 minute flight from Minny to Seattle. This sort of situation calls for a private charter.26 min 3 sec ago
SABR Mattso what do we do with Jesus if he stays up. Morales hits both sides of the plate equally well so there's no reason to platoon him.33 min 52 sec ago
okdanSeveral people on twitter have pointed out that Montero might just be up for tonight's game, with Morales arriving tomorrow. Hope that's not the case though, and that it means a Hart DFA instead. I mean, if John BUCK got the axe for performance...35 min 6 sec ago
okdanTaylor and Montero called up, Bloomquist to the DL.36 min 9 sec ago
SABR Mattbeni...noooooooooo...just no...just...NOOOOOOOOOO...Morales is breakable, big, slow and clumsy...he is not a first base option. Morrison is a good fielder...if they're both i the line-up...Morrison is the 1B.37 min 58 sec ago
mojician:) "It wasn't me it was the one armed Man." "Sure Kendrys. One armed men don't DH. Get back to your spot on the bench."42 min 31 sec ago
rick82The one armed man is currently playing left field for us.48 min 46 sec ago
benihanaIf I'm the M's right now, I plug Kendrys in at 1B. Hart / Morrison platoon at DH.49 min 24 sec ago
wufnersSo mojician, what your saying is that Morales is basically Dr. Richard Kimble to the Mariners' Marshal Gerard. "I don't want to play for you!" "We don't care." I suppose if he ever wants to escape their relentless pursuit, he has to find the one-armed man. Who, presumably, stole the Mariners bats to replace his missing arm.50 min 4 sec ago
rick82That's because the Gutis and Condors keep breaking his heart.53 min 15 sec ago
phxterryGMZ loves him them slow, base-clogging 1B/DH types. We don't need no stinking outfielders!!!!54 min 55 sec ago
mojicianKendrys is like CC Sabathia. He plays better ball with a little bit of girth.1 hour 5 min ago
SABR MattLOL Moj1 hour 7 min ago