By Shannon Drayer
So a few moves on my off day. Brandon Maurer has been optioned back to Triple-A Tacoma, Endy Chavez selected from Tacoma and Blake Beavan has been transferred from the 15-day DL to the 60-day DL with shoulder tendinitis which makes room for Chavez on the 40-man roster.
Why Endy Chavez you may ask? My guess would be that with three games against the Tigers best pitching and no Robinson Cano, Jack Zduriencik and Lloyd McClendon felt a little better about going with someone in the vacant lineup spot who had some experience against these pitchers rather than one of the kids. Chavez’s experience against the Tigers in recent years is actually very limited but his experience at the big league level overall is obviously much more substantial.
The fact that he can leadoff and play decent outfield helps too. With Michael Saunders continuing to hit and James Jones able to shift to two easily it makes sense. Basically this is something they could do for the short term, most likely very short term, that could give them a bit more offense than they had yesterday.
An interesting note on Chavez. One complaint voiced often about him is he doesn’t walk enough. There is no disputing he doesn’t walk a lot – he has a career .269 average and just a .307 OBP – but in an interesting conversation with me in spring training this year he claimed that he did not have a lot of opportunities to walk.
It was interesting in his thoughts on the matter and in the fact that I didn’t ask him about it. He approached me. Late this spring I was standing near the batting cages before a night game and I exchanged pleasantries with Endy as he walked by. He stopped and we chatted. I think I mentioned something about him hitting the ball hard in his BP session and he was pleased about that. He then started explaining to me the approach he sees from pitchers when they were facing him. He told me that he is going up there looking to hit because the pitchers are going up there looking to keep him off base.
“They don’t want me on base,” he said. “With the guys who are usually coming up behind me and the possibility of me stealing a base and being able to run, they don’t want me to walk. They are going to throw strikes.”
Plate discipline obviously plays into this as pitchers will try to get him to swing at balls out of the zone, but the takeaway from this for me was he is going up there to hit because he believes more often than not he is going to see strikes.
All of this can be checked out on the swing charts, which I would do if it wasn’t my night off and will do at some point when I have time, but regardless of if he is right or wrong I just thought I would share the player’s thoughts on the matter.