FanPost

I Am Musket Soak, the Story of the Moustakas Slump

Mike Moustakas has 2 hits in his last 51 PA. Which is good for a total of 2 for 49.

Mike Moustakas has 0 hits in his last 22 at-bats (he did have a HBP).

Mike Moustakas had 0 hits in 21 at-bats from July 3rd to July 10th.

Mike Moustakas hasn't hit the ball out of the infield in his last 10 PA.

Mike Moustakas hasn't drawn a walk since July 1st (remember when we were surprised about his plate discipline and acted like it was better than Eric Hosmer's?).

In other words, Mike Moustakas is hitting horribly. In the eyes of some, obviously he has to be rushed back to Omaha to ever become good again. Because someone who doesn't hit for that long will be scarred for life. Shaking. Traumatized.

Well now, let's take a look at the at-bats over this string to gain some deeper insight about Mike Moustakas.

 

In 55 PA from July 3rd to July 20th, Moustakas has 5 hits, 3 of them coming in the first 4 PA. He has seen 198 pitches (103 fastballs) in those 55 PA, an average of 3.6 per PA. 17 of the PA have ended on the 1st or 2nd pitch. He has seen 60 balls, swung/looked at 46 strikes, hit 39 foul balls (29 on fastballs), and put 47 balls into play.

The outcome of the 55 PA: 5 hits, 7 strikeouts, 1 HBP, 1 Sac Fly, 18 groundouts, 13 flyouts, 9 popouts, and 1 lineout.

Out of the 9 popouts, 6 of them came on the 1st or 2nd pitch. 5 of the popouts came on fastballs.

37 of the PA have been v. RHP. 18 v. LHP. Moustakas has 1 hit v. LHP over this time.

In fact, the first deep question involves Moustakas and LHP. Does it do Mike Moustakas any good to be benched v. LHP at this moment? Over the period of the last 17 days, Mike Moustakas was benched twice instead of facing Brian Duensing and Charlie Furbush. He did get to face Mark Buerhle twice, John Danks and Francisco Liriano. Does the break from playing make his hitting in future games better or worse? Shouldn't Mike Moustakas get as many at-bats v. LHP as he possibly can so that we can get the best idea possible of his abilities v. LHP? In the minor leagues, the split between his hitting v. lefties and righties was mainly a split of his abilities to hit for power, not a split in his ability to get on base.

There's an argument for both sides, but if you're gonna tout development. If you're gonna argue for batting Escobar late in games when he was slumping "because we need him to hit in those spots".. why is Mike Moustakas development as a hitter less valuable than Alcides Escobar's? Moustakas should be getting every start possible v. LHP with Betemit gone. If he doesn't, you'll hear about it.

If you go back to Mike Moustakas' splits in the minor leagues, you find a split of 36% groundballs, 36% flyballs in Springdale last year. But you find a split of 29% groundballs/39% flyballs, 11.5% popups in Omaha. Moustakas topped 10% in popups in Wilmington (11.8%) and Burlington (12.8%) as well. Currently Moustakas has 46% flyballs/37% groundballs/27% popups.

The calling card of a struggling Moustakas appears to involve popups.

When it comes to the first pitch over the 55 PA sample, Moustakas took the first pitch 38 times and swung 17 times. When it took, the pitch was a ball 25 times and a strike 13 times. When he swung, he missed 5 times, fouled the ball off 5 times, 3 groundouts, 3 popouts, and a single.

In fact, when you go back to the strikes thrown against Moustakas, 31 were called strikes and 15 were swinging. So when Moustakas swings the bat, he missed 15 times, fouled the ball off 39 times, put the ball into play 47 times.

The second deep question is about self-confidence. The people who mention the self-confidence card seem to tilt towards people who think body-language is easy o interpret through a TV and meaningful. Is Mike Moustakas' inability to get a ball out of the infield for days at a time a self-confidence issue and not a swing issue? If someone is having confidence issues, wouldn't they be swinging at bad pitches, laying off hittable pitches in the strikezone at the wrong times? Wouldn't the self-confidence issues show up outside of hitting?

Perhaps part of the problem is that Moustakas cares too much. Listens to too much advice. Tries to change too much, and makes things worse. I'm no expert in the quality of the Texas League or the PCL, but i'm gonna guess Mike Moustakas did not hit for power in those leagues with the swing we've seen lately. Just a suspicion.

And when it comes down to what he's not hitting hard, what makes you think a stint in AAA would lead to him seeing enough quality pitches to get into enough of a groove that he could hit in the majors upon recall? Maybe the problem is that he's facing quality major league pitching, and that problem isn't going to be solved in Omaha. It's only going to be solved by facing quality major league pitching in the major leagues.

But but.. he'll be changed foreverrr if we don't let him go to Omaha to get his confidence back. No he won't. If he's not good enough to come back from a 2 for 49 string and start hitting sometime in his career, he's not good enough anyways. The reality that this team has not contended in 8 years. Has not had a good run in it in 15+ years. Has not had a youth movement carried out in 35 years. Distorts people's points of view about how to handle young players. They're not wearing diapers. They're not cutting themselves in the locker room out of sorrow. They're paid to do this and they feel failure, but when they succeed, they get over the failures. Mike Moustakas isn't going to mope over his 2 for 49 in three years. And the fact that this team hasn't had a good run thanks to young players since the 1970s leads to fans having an impatience with young players and a belief that they're better off in Omaha than facing major league pitching on a major league team that is not in contention.

But Mike Moustakas should play almost every day v. righties and lefties (yes, even against Charlie Furbush). And when it comes to his swing, he should go back to what got him to the dance and stop screwing around with the advice he gets from teammates and hitting coaches. It's better to at least try what you are comfortable with than to fail using someone else's hitting system.

Just let him play the game. If he's meant to be good, he'll hit. If he's not meant to be good, then so be it. Demoting him now or reducing his playing time won't change a thing.

Review the slump chart yourselves.

 

Gm Date PA Pitcher Pitches






Result
19 07/03/11 74 Hammel (RH) FB94KS FB93F FB94B FB94IP



LO1

07/03/11 75 Hammel (RH) CB76B CB76KL FB92KS CB80B CB76IP


2B9

07/03/11 76 Belisle (RH) SL90B SL90KL SL87B FB91F FB92B FB92F FB91F SL90IP 2B9

07/03/11 77 Belisle (RH) SL92KL FB92IP





1B1

07/03/11 78 Mortensen (RH) FB88B FB87IP





PO6

07/03/11 79 Mortensen (RH) FB88B CH81IP





GO3
20 07/04/11 80 Buehrle (LH) FB86KS FB86B CU83KL FB86F FB84B FB83KL

K

07/04/11 81 Buehrle (LH) FB86IP






PO6

07/04/11 82 Buehrle (LH) CU83B CB83B FB84KL FB87B FB84IP


PO3

07/04/11 83 Santos (RH) FB96F FB96B CH88KL SL84KL



K
21 07/05/11 84 Peavy (RH) FB92KL FB91KL FB92IP




SF8

07/05/11 85 Peavy (RH) CU86B CH83F PO85 CU85KL CB79B CH84F FB92IP
FO7

07/05/11 86 Peavy (RH) CU87KL FB91F CB80KS




K

07/05/11 87 Bruney (RH) CH87B FB96KL FB96IP




FO7
22 07/06/11 88 Jackson (RH) SL83KL FB97B SL86IP




FO9

07/06/11 89 Jackson (RH) FB96KL PO86 CH86B FB94F FB96IP


GO46

07/06/11 90 Jackson (RH) FB98F FB95F FB96F FB98F SL90KS


K

07/06/11 91 Santiago (RH) FB95B FB94KL FB95B FB93F CH77B FB95IP

FO7
23 07/07/11 92 Scherzer (RH) FB94B FB94B FB95B FB94KL FB94IP


FO6

07/07/11 93 Scherzer (RH) CH82B CH83IP





GO43

07/07/11 94 Coke (LH) CB84KL CB82IP





FO8

07/07/11 95 Valverde (RH) SP85B FB95B FB94F FB95F FB96F SP88IP

FO7
24 07/08/11 96 Porcello (RH) FB92IP






GO6

07/08/11 97 Porcello (RH) FB92B CH84KS FB92F FB92F FB92IP


FO5

07/08/11 98 Purcey (LH) FB93KL SL82IP





PO2

07/08/11 99 Coke (LH) CH85B CH85KS CB82KS CH84KS



K
25 07/10/11 100 Verlander (RH) FB95IP






1B9

07/10/11 101 Verlander (RH) CH85KS CB79B CH86IP




GO31

07/10/11 102 Verlander (RH) CH85B FB94B CH85IP




FO9

07/10/11 103 Valverde (RH) FB95B FB92IP





GO63
26 07/14/11 104 Liriano (LH) FB90IP






GO3

07/14/11 105 Liriano (LH) FB93B SL86KS SL88F FB94IP



2B7

07/14/11 106 Liriano (LH) FB92KS FB92F SL86KS




K

07/14/11 107 Mijares (LH) SL78KL SL79B SL79IP




PO3
27 07/15/11 108 Blackburn (RH) CB78KL FB91B CB79IP




GO31

07/15/11 109 Blackburn (RH) FB88F FB89F FB88IP




GIDP463

07/15/11 110 Blackburn (RH) CU87IP






GO43

07/15/11 111 Capps (RH) FB92IP






PO6
28 07/16/11 112 Pavano (RH) CH80KL CH82F SP80B FB89F CH79IP


FO8

07/16/11 113 Pavano (RH) FB89IP






PO6

07/16/11 114 Pavano (RH) SP80KL SI89B FB89B FB90F SP85F FB89IP

FO8

07/16/11 115 Nathan (RH) CB81B CB81B SL88KL FB93IP



FO9
29 07/18/11 116 Buehrle (LH) FB87KL FB87F FB84HBP




HBP

07/18/11 117 Buehrle (LH) CU83B FB83B FB88B FB87KL CU82IP


GO43

07/18/11 118 Buehrle (LH) FB86F CB71B CU81KL CB72B CH77F CH79F CH78F FB87IP FO7

07/18/11 119 Santos (RH) FB96B FB96KL FB97F SL87B SL87KS


K
30 07/19/11 120 Peavy (RH) CB78B CB77KS CB79KS CB78IP



GO13

07/19/11 121 Peavy (RH) CU86B CB77KL CH84B CB76B SL84IP


GO43

07/19/11 122 Peavy (RH) FB90B SL85IP





FC

07/19/11 123 Bruney (RH) FB96B CH88F CH88F SL87B FB97IP


GO63
31 07/20/11 124 Danks (LH) FB91KL CU88IP





PO6

07/20/11 125 Danks (LH) CU87KS CB78KL FB93B CU87IP



GO43

07/20/11 126 Danks (LH) FB91F FB92IP





GO63

07/20/11 127 Sale (LH) SL82B FB97F FB97IP




GO31

07/20/11 128 Sale (LH) FB98KL FB98B FB98KS FB98F SL85IP


PO4

This FanPost was written by a member of the Royals Review community. It does not necessarily reflect the views of the editors and writers of this site.

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