In 2014, the Los Angeles Dodgers got very little production from the catcher’s spot on offense.
In order to aid that, the team made catcher Yasmani Grandal the centerpiece of a trade that sent outfielder Matt Kemp to the San Diego Padres. Grandal, a switch-hitter with pop, has yet to show what the Dodgers thought they were getting from the 26-year-old. He’s hitting .189 with a home run and two RBIs in 17 games.
On Wednesday night, Dodgers manager Don Mattingly moved Grandal from the fifth spot in the lineup to the seventh spot and believes his catcher is pressing, according to Bill Plunkett of the Orange County Register:
I feel like he is,” Mattingly said. “We talked a little bit about it in San Diego (last weekend), just trying to simplify it. Get a good pitch. Hit a ball hard. Keep it as simple as that. So I’m trying to move him a little bit and just see if we can get to that – have a good at-bat. If we can do that and simplify it, he’s going to be fine.
Mattingly offered some advice to Grandal on how to overcome this month-long slump:
I feel like he’s trying really hard. You can’t get three hits in one at-bat or two hits in one at-bat. You need to kind of take it slowly – get a good pitch, hit a ball hard and trust that that process turns into good over a long period of time.”
Despite his struggles at the plate, Grandal is third on the team with 10 walks and has been impressive framing pitches on defense. He only has two passed balls, but he has struggled stopping the ball behind the plate; however, that was known before he was acquired.
The Dodger offense has been strong thus far and once Grandal can figure things out, it will get that much stronger.
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