Lucky for Trea Turner, he signed in one of the most patient cities in Major League Baseball, Philadelphia.
Now that we’ve had a moment to get a good chuckle out of that idea, it wouldn’t be quite fair to say Turner hit bottom last night. That probably was in May when he hit .208 and had an OPS+ of 66. But much like the contours of the ocean floor, Turner’s season can have a few valleys, and may have more to come. Certainly last night when he made two errors would not be one he’ll write songs about, especially as his evening came to an early end:
Turner’s frustration certainly has built up over a longer time period than just that AB, as his season has not gone according to plan when he was perhaps the most prized of the big four free agents given that he promised to be able to do everything. He’s still provided more than passable defense, which on the Phillies makes him look like Brooks Robinson. Still, the bat did not make the cross-country trip with him from L.A. Turner has slashed .249/.302/.390 for a by far career-worst 85 OPS+, a 43-point drop from last season as a Dodger and 57 points off his superlative 2021 campaign when he had an OPS over .900.
Turner seems to be in a nexus of evil where he’s swinging at more and more pitches but missing more and more of them as well. Turner’s swing percentage has increased every season of his career, and has ballooned to 52 percent in 2023, five points above league average. His contact rate however, which hovered around 80 percent at the end of his Nationals career, is down at 71 percent now.
While Turner is whiffing at more fastballs than he has before, it’s his whiff percentage on breaking and offspeed pitches that has ballooned in the past two years, over 10 percent on both. When that happens, one begins to wonder if a player isn’t starting to cheat on fastballs just a touch and leaving himself vulnerable to getting out on his front foot/falling right on his ass. So far Turner hasn’t really started chasing pitches at a gargantuanly increased rate than before, but at 30 now it’s worth wondering whether he may have lost just a tick on the bat speed. His penchant for hitting more grounders this year only feeds that notion.
Turner has never been a big walks guys, getting his OBP through a lot of contact and his speed. But that doesn’t really fly when he’s striking out 23 percent, a big increase from his 18 percent last year.
It was a bigger problem for the Fightins when J.T. Realmuto was also taking a fish instead of a bat to the plate and Bryce Harper wasn’t around. Realmuto has rebounded in a way Turner hasn’t and Harper has returned, and Bryson Stott and Brandon Marsh have been unexpected bonuses. Which is probably the cover Turner needs to not hear it from a Phillies fanbase that simply lives to bolster its rep as the most cantankerous and noisiest. Turner will have to rediscover some plate discipline if he doesn’t want a constant reminder of just how much longer is left on his contract.
Elly De La Cruz crushes one
On the other side of the baseball ledger, at least for one night (he’s had his struggles too), Elly De La Cruz turned another baseball into a mere theory:
You know something obscene has happened when you can’t actually see the baseball leave the shot from the centerfield camera. It’s like it’s been zapped out of existence.
The Brewers may want to have a talk with their graphics guy, who Fels Motherfuck’d that homer into existence.
So De La Cruz has pulverized a ball after Davey Martinez asked to have his bat checked, and then after the Brewers gameday staff thought they were pretty cute. It’s becoming pretty obvious this isn’t a bear you want to poke.
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Original source here
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