The LA Angels fired their long-time hitting coach, Mickey Hatcher, last night. The Angels have suffered from inconsistency at the plate, having been shut out eight times already this season. Inconsistency at the plate … hmm. Sound familiar?
First-year Angels GM Jerry Dipoto explained his reasoning for the firing – Hatcher’s failure to emphasize plate discipline and getting on base.
Two areas Dipoto has made it known he values Ã¢â‚¬â€œ the plate discipline to work and control counts and on-base percentage Ã¢â‚¬â€œ were particular weaknesses for the Angels. Their .313 team OBP in 2011 was 21st in the majors, 13th in the American League. This year’s mark is even worse (.301).
“As an organization, we think the world of Mickey Ã¢â‚¬â€œ his work ethic, his enthusiasm for the job,” Dipoto said. “But at a certain point, it becomes about the results on the field. Offensively, we’re having a difficult time getting on base, we’re having a difficult time hitting in situations, with runners in scoring position, etc. You can go on down the line.
Mark Saxon at ESPN described the firing this way:
Tuesday’s move reflects a difference of philosophy between previous regimes in Anaheim and Dipoto’s increased emphasis on on-base percentage and the incorporation of advanced analytics into the team’s approach. Hatcher emphasized an aggressive approach at the plate.
“We’ve struggled with situational hitting, we’ve struggled to get on base in ways other than the safely hit ball,” Dipoto said. “Good hitters are also patient hitters. This is not necessarily about the individual message as much as the team-wide message we need to stress with our players.”
Submitted for discussion without further comment.
[Thanks to loyal Redleg Nation member, Mike Maffie, for forwarding the Saxon article to me.]