ST. LOUIS — Francisco Lindor’s slump to begin his Mets profession has grow to be essentially the most analyzed in baseball this season.
Is it mechanical? Mental? The jolt of switching leagues and changing into entrenched in a brand new atmosphere?
Just over a month since signing a 10-year extension with the membership value $341 million, Lindor took a dreadful .171/.289/.220 slash line with one homer and three RBIs into Monday night time’s sport in opposition to the Cardinals at Busch Stadium, as he remained tethered to the No. 2 gap within the lineup.
A deeper look into the numbers exhibits that Lindor’s greatest problem isn’t chasing pitches or strikeouts, however his incapability to barrel the ball. Entering play he had barreled 2.8 % of pitches, which ranked within the twelfth percentile amongst MLB gamers, in line with Statcast. Lindor’s barrel charge the earlier three seasons had been 9.5, 7.5 and 5.6, respectively.
“He seems tentative at the plate, caught in-between,” a significant league scout mentioned, including that Lindor’s low barrel charge might be a timing problem, related to lack of aggressiveness and never seeing the ball nicely.
“Bad trifecta,” the scout added. “Keep swinging.”
A second scout mentioned Lindor has grow to be too pull-happy, and that’s evident even in batting apply.
“He’s trying to go yard all the time instead of trying to use the field more, making hard contact,” the second scout mentioned. “He’s always had home-run power. He’s trying to yank the ball too much.”
The Post offered that speculation to supervisor Luis Rojas earlier than Monday night time’s sport. Rojas mentioned it was a believable notion.
“I have been seeing him try to pull sometimes, forcing to pull the ball instead of naturally pulling,” Rojas mentioned. “There’s been some pitches center/away to away that he’s tried to drag and he simply can’t get there and it become weak grounders, as a result of he has to throw his arms, he can’t attain on the market.
“I don’t know if he’s going for the [home run] result, but he wants to pull the ball in the air or he’s tried to pull the ball in the air. Right now I think he’s focusing more on the middle of the field.”
Lindor, coming into play, had struck out solely 12.2 % of the time. He had additionally walked 12.2 % of the time. Both figures had been higher than Lindor’s profession percentages, telling Rojas that pitch choice or chasing hasn’t been as a lot the problem as the standard of contact.
“I just think his body has been out of the position where he can hit the ball a certain way,” Rojas mentioned. “He’s gotten pitches that he’s able to pull and he pulls a little bit too early and those go foul, well-hit foul. The pitch selection has been good as far as pitches being strikes. It’s just body control that has been out of whack.”
Lindor’s most notable hit got here 2 ½ weeks in the past, when he delivered a go-ahead RBI single that allowed Jacob deGrom to win a sport in Colorado. On that very same street journey, Lindor blasted his first Mets homer, in opposition to the Cubs at Wrigley Field. But he was hitless in his final 20 plate appearances, coming into play.
Rojas isn’t prepared but to hit the panic button and place Lindor on the bench for a sport or two and even drop him within the lineup. The truth the offense confirmed life in Philadelphia, the place the Mets received two of three video games over the weekend, might need lessened the stress on the supervisor to think about such a transfer.
The second scout mentioned it could be silly for the Mets to panic only a month into the season.
“He has so much fun playing and he’s very positive,” the second scout mentioned. “I don’t see a mental aspect to it where he’s going to start really pressing. I think if we’re talking a month from now, all of a sudden he will be fine.”