This season, Brian Roberts has walked in 8.7% of his plate appearances, which is quite good – league-average, for reference, is 7.9%. The majority of his offensive value is derived from his ability to take a walk, in fact, as his .315 OBP is almost perfectly league-average. However, it seems as though Roberts has changed his approach at the plate a bit over the past few weeks, as he has not taken a walk in his last 14 games … over which time he is batting .293/.293/.534 (including two of his four home runs this season).
Is it safe to call it a change in approach, though? Surprisingly, yes. Or, maybe, at least. Over his first 62 games, Roberts swung at 28.4% of pitches out of the zone, 73.1% of pitches in the zone, and 48.9% of pitches overall. Since then, those percentages are 36.6%, 75.7%, and 55.4%, respectively.
Of course, this could be small sample size noise – and it probably is. On a lazy Monday after a long weekend, however, I found it quite interesting.
|New York Yankees||Cleveland Indians|
|Brett Gardner, LF||Jason Kipnis, 2B|
|Derek Jeter, SS||Asdrubal Cabrera, SS|
|Jacoby Ellsbury, CF||Michael Brantley, CF|
|Mark Teixeira, 1B||Carlos Santana, 1B|
|Brian McCann, DH||Lonnie Chisenhall, 3B|
|Brian Roberts, 2B||Nick Swisher, DH|
|Ichiro Suzuki, RF||David Murphy, RF|
|Kelly Johnson, 3B||Yan Gomes, C|
|Francisco Cervelli, C||Chris Dickerson, LF|
|Shane Greene, SP||Justin Masterson, SP|