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Lloyd McClendon thinks he fixed Brennan Boesch’s swing

Feb 11, 2013, 10:47 AM EDT

Brennan Boesch

Brennan Boesch was one of the worst regulars in baseball last season, hitting .240 with a .659 OPS in 503 plate appearances for the Tigers, and heads into this season projected to be a bench player.

However, hitting coach Lloyd McClendon is optimistic that he fixed Boesch’s swing during the offseason, telling Tom Gage of the Detroit News:

I am extremely excited about Brennan Boesch. It’s about the work we’ve already done in Detroit and the work that he’s done in the offseason. I look forward to building on that. This guy has a high ceiling.

I would not call it an epiphany, but Brennan certainly understood he had to work on some things. Sitting there being ineligible for the playoffs had to weigh on him heavily. You’ll see better balance, a shorter stride and shorter stroke. But I don’t think you’ll see a lot of differences in his stance.┬áHe’s just going back to what he was doing when he was doing well. He’s gotten a lot of different voices out of his head, so to speak.

Hopefully it’s only “so to speak” with those voices in his head, because schizophrenia seems like a much bigger deal than an unbalanced swing.

  1. darthicarus - Feb 11, 2013 at 10:49 AM

    Not going to lie, part of me hoped to read that Boesch’s swing was in the Best Shape Of Its Life.

    • bendrinkin - Feb 12, 2013 at 11:16 AM

      His swing must be more focused on “doing whatever it takes to help this ballclub win games.”

  2. jonrox - Feb 11, 2013 at 10:57 AM

    Is it safe to be mildly optimistic, given what he was able to accomplish with Austin Jackson last year?

  3. scoregasmic - Feb 11, 2013 at 11:00 AM

    @Darth my thoughts exactly…I love when a I read that a Tiger is “in the best shape of their life” good things always come out of that

  4. chacochicken - Feb 11, 2013 at 11:03 AM

    Is it the best swing of his life?

  5. elwaysmilehighdenver - Feb 11, 2013 at 11:03 AM

    Boesch needs to hit like he did in 2011 or he’ll be dealt in a trade mid season. Jimmy “smokes” Leyland has to get more consistent production out of this lefty.

    • paperlions - Feb 11, 2013 at 11:30 AM

      The only real difference between “good Boesch” and “bad Boesch” was 30 pts of BABIP and a couple of HRs. He doesn’t walk much and MLB hitters now have enough film on him to attach his weaknesses, unless he adjusts, the difference between “good Boesch” and “bad Boesch” will always be a little luck on balls in play. He’s 28 with no defensive value, if he can’t hit well above average, he really has no value at all to an MLB team.

      • historiophiliac - Feb 11, 2013 at 1:36 PM

        and, yet, we keep him…and Loyal Leyland plays him. Argh!

      • paperlions - Feb 11, 2013 at 1:50 PM

        It would be grievous if they were playing him over a better player…their other corner OF options were pretty bad too, weren’t they? Failure to add better options through trade or FA and hoping for a minor miracle likely isn’t the best option here….getting all that offense from CF and 3B was great….but they were giving it all back in LF, RF, and DH last year.

      • historiophiliac - Feb 11, 2013 at 1:56 PM

        Their other sucky options were what? Raburn. Kelly. Geez. Thank god we’ve upgraded a bit (although I’m nervous they are keeping Boesch & Kelly lurking around). Adding Hunter helped. Dirks is better than those yahoos, so maybe that’s enough to seal the deal. We keep sucky players on the roster way too long. Look how long it took to shed Inge. That’s a thing for us.

        FYI, I spent all morning at the Ford dealership getting a repair. Sigh.

      • paperlions - Feb 11, 2013 at 2:00 PM

        Too funny. I had an F-150 a long time ago, I was that guy broke down on the side of the road with his head under the hood all the time. Then when I worked in Paraguay we had an F-350, we lost months of work time because that piece of crap couldn’t stay in one piece. I owned a 1991 Chevy S-10 from 1994 until 2011, I sold it to my neighbor, it has over 260K miles on it, still runs. Now I have a Tacoma. My dislike of Fords is well earned.

        Hunter is a huge upgrade for them, even if he falls off from last year.

      • historiophiliac - Feb 11, 2013 at 2:46 PM

        Agreed on Hunter, even if I did have to break up with him. Our big problem was we had a number of really great players (Miggy, V, Fielder) and then really sucky players (Raburn, Kelly). We don’t have much in between. It would be an upgrade for us in some places to have replacement players.

        What do you do first? Fill your last hole in the OF, upgrade your SS, find a stellar closer, or deal w/ 2B? Sigh.

      • paperlions - Feb 11, 2013 at 2:49 PM

        Every team has holes….luckily for Detroit, they are pretty much guaranteed a playoff spot because there isn’t any other good team in the AL Central….even is by some miracle a team in that division was competitive this year, they still have the advantage of facing 3 really bad teams a lot, which no other AL division has…..so….you know that are playoff bound….after that…it is just about getting lucky enough to win 3 short series in a row….and their pitching gives them a leg up on that.

      • historiophiliac - Feb 11, 2013 at 3:00 PM

        It would be really great if this year our bats were hot too. Miggy & Fielder didn’t hit much in the post-season last year. That was painful. I am optimistic for this season though. Grrrrr!

    • jwbiii - Feb 11, 2013 at 11:40 AM

      A corner outfielder who hit like a utility infielder last season? That waiver bait, not trade bait.

  6. Minoring In Baseball - Feb 11, 2013 at 11:38 AM

    Big upside for the Tigers of Boesch is back to his old form. His power can come in handy for sure. I’m always rooting for the guys who come up through the system.
    -Mike
    http://minoringinbaseball.com/

  7. coryfor3 - Feb 11, 2013 at 3:04 PM

    I think the idea of most of these hitting coaches is funny. Look around the league- I don’t think there are too many hitting coaches that ever figured out a way to fix their own swing let alone someone else’s.

  8. datdangdrewdundunituhgin - Feb 11, 2013 at 5:46 PM

    shortening his swing is something that needed to happen last year, not this year. there were glaring holes in his swing from the moment i saw him. he had no chance of ever hitting something hard that came at him low and in due to that cartoon loop he had. glad to hear him working at it, but really mclendon should have been adjusting last off-season. i’d trade 4-5 HR a shorter stroke would bring for 30 pts of avg and 5-10 more doubles. the impatience at the plate is something that has to be corrected, however.

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