"So we’re going to minimize our time with video and the cage and concentrate on having a better plan at the plate. Because not only were we late on the fastballs, but we were fooled a lot when we were ahead in the count. They threw Huffy a lot of 1-0 changeups and he chased. You have to have a plan, knowing they will try to do that again until you make an adjustment."
That's from Hensley Meulens in Andrew Baggarly's new column. Part of me wonders if robo-Ted Williams could help this bunch. Another part of me likes the sound of what Meulens is preaching. It's tempting to dismiss the value of a hitting coach until you remember that Dave Righetti is a robed wizard. If a pitching coach can make such a difference ...
Don't know enough to judge Meulens, but I instinctively like him for some reason, even though the Giants have scored eight runs in the last two years. Maybe it's that World Series thing, but I liked him even before the Burrell/Ross revolution in 2010. Can't put my finger on it. Maybe it's the well-placed Hensley Meulens ads they're always running on TV. Or it could be that Meulens was a rated rookie, whereas Carney Lansford smelled of mustaches and Oakland A's, which happens to be exactly what goes into Old Spice.
I've never pretended to know what goes into a good hitting coach. It's tough to know from the outside. Heck, it's probably tough to know from the inside. It's not like Meulens hopped around the dugout with a floppy straw hat last year, banging pots and pans together, screaming, "SWING AT THE PITCHES IN THE DIRT, Y'ALL. THOSE ARE THE SECRET PITCHES. THOSE ARE THE DELICACIES!" He was probably saying the right things.
Of course, there are State of the Hitting Coach articles every spring.
"For all my career, I've been very aggressive," (Bengie) Molina said. "But, yes, I want to work on taking some more pitches. The more pitches you see, the better you should be. Hopefully it works."