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The decline of switch-hitting in MLB: excerpts from WSJ

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  • JohnDoe
    replied
    Lots of people try, its just hard. Most folks aren't as good as Mickey mantle, Pete Rose, chipper Jones, lance Berkman, Bernie Williams. The game has changed so much with sabermetrics plus the pitching is so good it makes sense to perfect one swing than batting from your weakerside

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  • The decline of switch-hitting in MLB: excerpts from WSJ

    There was a recent article in the Wall Street Journal about the decline of switch-hitting in MLB.

    Here are some excerpts:

    Professional organizations once coveted switch hitters, valuing their versatility no matter the opposing pitcher....[but].the art of switch hitting devolves into an endangered species.

    "It’s too hard. It seems like an uphill feat.” [said Kevin Long]

    Teams increasingly view the potential added benefit of switch hitting as not worth the additional effort and won’t hesitate to convert switch hitters into one-way hitters if they falter.

    Switch hitting presents a challenge for the players who attempt it, requiring them to hone and maintain two separate swings with different mechanical flaws. New York Yankees infielder Neil Walker says it takes “two times the work,” essentially forcing him to put his body through double the amount of batting practice as his teammates. Even then, he might go weeks at a time without facing a left-handed pitcher, leaving him limited opportunities to use his right-handed swing in a game situation.

    “Putting in the time to basically be two hitters has become a lot more time-consuming,” said Ruben Amaro Jr., the general manager of the Philadelphia Phillies from 2009 through 2015. “It takes away from trying to perfect the craft of hitting.

    Andrew Romine, the lone switch hitter on the Seattle Mariners’ active roster, wishes somebody had ordered him to stop a long time ago. His father pushed him toward switch hitting, and now Romine wonders if he would have fared better focusing entirely on his right-handed swing.

    “If switch hitting was so valuable, wouldn’t most people try to switch hit?” Romine said. “It doesn’t make any sense. Nobody should ever choose that.”

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