Dodgers lean on batting coach Mark McGwire’s simplified strategy
Los Angeles, CA, United States (4E Sports) – The Los Angeles Dodgers have turned to Mark McGwire to duplicate the success he had with the St. Louis Cardinals.
He is now the team’s 11th batting coach in 15 years, replacing Dave Hansen who was not retained after the Dodgers’ offense finished 13th in runs scored last year.
One of McGwire’s early projects is to figure out why Andre Ethier has forgotten how to hit left-handed pitching. The disparity arose in 2008 when he hit 83 points higher vs. right-handers. Last year, Ethier hit .222 against lefties and 103 points higher against righties and a 339-point differential in OPS against right-handers versus left-handers.
McGwire, who minimizes mechanics and focuses on approach, studied all Dodgers hitters during the offseason and came to Spring Training with an analysis of Ethier: reinforce his past success.
“There is no reason why he can’t have the success he’s had his first three or four years against left-handers,” said McGwire, according to mlb.com.
McGwire said his style is long on communication and simplification.
“It’s all about the mindset. It’s a beautiful thing to watch them think and use their head rather than be mechanical. When you start thinking about your hands and feet, you’re done,” said McGwire.
Ethier said he already likes McGwire “a lot” because he’s “willing to put in the extra work” to learn what makes you tick, unlike some hitting coaches who insists it’s their way or you’re on your own.
He said many of today’s players spend too much time on the laptop watching their swing when they could be watching how the opposing pitcher gets them out. More often than not, the hitter gets himself out.