1) Kendrys Morales Is Taking On The Shift
In his last couple of games, struggling designated hitter Kendrys Morales has clearly been trying to shoot the ball down the third base line while batting from the left side. The idea is to take advantage of the massive shift teams have been deploying against him, which typically leaves only one defender on the left side of the infield.
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Ever since his three hit game on June 7, Morales has hits in four out of the last five games. He’s raised his batting average from .191 to .204 which might not seem like much, but will start making defenses take notice if he can keep taking shots at left field.
Morales is attempting to do the same thing that teammate Mike Moustakas did last season to combat the shift, except he’s trying to make the adjustment on the fly during the season.
The Kansas City Royals need Morales to bounce back. His .290/.362/.485 2015 season, which earned him the silver slugger award for the DH position, was a big reason behind the team’s title. Morales was a switch hitting presence in the middle of the KC Royals lineup that helped make deploying relief specialists against KC difficult.
Ned Yost is exercising his famed patience as Morales works through his problems at the plate. Let’s hope it pays off.