Connect with us

Uncategorized

Why Did Francisco Lindor Struggle In 2021?

Published

on


(Photo by Dustin Satloff/Getty Images)

 

Right before the start of the 2021 MLB season, the New York Mets signed shortstop Francisco Lindor to a 10-year, $341 million contract extension.

They had acquired him in January, alongside pitcher Carlos Carrasco, in exchange for two young shortstops and a couple of great prospects.

Advertisement

Lindor was, and is, a legitimate star; a two-way talent capable of changing the outcome of a game with his bat and with his glove.

But the first couple of months of the season were rough for him.

 

Early Struggles

He badly struggled in April and May: through those two months, he was hitting .194/.294/.294 with four homers and four stolen bases.

Fans, who were initially ecstatic about Lindor’s arrival, were booing him at Citi Field by early May.

Advertisement

If we consider the season as a whole, Lindor struggled in 2021.

He hit .230/.322/.412 with 20 homers and 10 stolen bases in 125 games.

He was merely an average hitter, with a 103 wRC+ (weighted Runs Created Plus, an offensive metric that measures offensive performance, with 100 being considered average).

His career wRC+ is 117, and his highest mark is 132, in 2018, so clearly, it wasn’t his best year.

From 2017 to 2019, he slugged more than 30 homers each season, so his 2021 output was also a disappointment.

Advertisement

But there are important things to understand about Lindor’s season.

2021 marked the first time he played for a big-market team, with one of the most demanding fan bases in MLB.

He also moved to a new city, with new people, teammates, and surroundings.

Additionally, his contract extension saga was probably in his head for most of spring training, altering his focus and, therefore, his preparation.

The expectations of playing under a mammoth contract and being the face of a franchise on which he hadn’t played a single game were probably factors, too.

On the field, he wasn’t barreling the ball during those first couple of months (4.9 barrel percentage).

A barrel is the ideal batted ball, according to launch angle and exit velocity, and it leads to much better outcomes.

He made the adjustments and started improving from June on.

Advertisement

 

Turning His Season Around In Impressive Fashion

From June 1 to the end of the season, Lindor played like his normal self: a 10.4 barrel percentage, a .252/.340/.482 line, 16 home runs, and a 124 wRC+.

He missed several weeks in July and August with an oblique injury, but performance-wise, his second half was positive.

Advertisement

Perhaps he was pressing in April and May, and the peoples’ boos didn’t help.

He was mired in a terrible slump, but after he adjusted and settled in, he started playing like the Lindor we know.

Baseball players aren’t robots, and we can’t just expect them to keep producing at the same rate they have done it during their careers without taking external factors into account.

They often have to deal with pressure, expectations, and other factors that go beyond the diamond.

On the baseball field, he wasn’t making ideal contact.

Advertisement

Outside of it, he may have been adjusting to a whole new city and lifestyle.

Seeing him rebound to his old self after June had to be a relief for Mets fans and members of the front office, because he will likely be in New York for a very long time.

The post Why Did Francisco Lindor Struggle In 2021? appeared first on The Cold Wire.





Source link

Advertisement

Uncategorized

Batting Around: What other venues should MLB use for a Field of Dreams-style game?

Published

on



Throughout the season the CBS Sports MLB experts will bring you a weekly Batting Around roundtable breaking down pretty much anything. The latest news, a historical question, thoughts about the future of baseball, all sorts of stuff. Last week we looked at contenders that needed to do more at the trade deadline. This week we’re going to discuss baseball in unusual places.

Where would you like to see MLB play a Field of Dreams style game in the future?

Matt Snyder: I actually went through five options for this last year. I would love to see MLB do all five, as it has the bandwidth to pull off such special series. If I had to pick one, though, in sticking closest to the theme here, it’s a Sandlot game. From the idea a year ago: 

Could we possibly build an 8,000-seat stadium that somehow resembles the sandlot diamond from the movie, with the fence in left field mirroring the one from the movie? Of course! Let’s even throw a treehouse out there overlooking a lot with a large dog hanging out in it. 

Yes, let’s please do that, MLB. 

Advertisement

Mike Axisa: I love love love when MLB takes the game to different places. The Field of Dreams Game was a blast last year. The Fort Bragg game a few years ago was fun. The London Series was epic. I have so many answers for this question: Curacao, Italy, South Korea, Taiwan, on and on I could go. Did you know the Italian Baseball League has been around since 1948? Let’s send some big leaguers over there. MLB games in New Orleans or on Cape Cod would be a blast too. Bringing major-league baseball places where people don’t have access to it is a worthwhile endeavor, and it doesn’t hurt that it breaks up the monotony of the long season.

To pick just one, I’ll go with Hinchliffe Stadium in Paterson, New Jersey. It is one of the few Negro Leagues parks still standing and it is currently undergoing a $94 million renovation (expected to be completed this month). There’s a lot of history there. Larry Doby, who grew up in Paterson and broke the color barrier in the American League with Cleveland in 1947, played at Hinchliffe Stadium with the Newark Eagles. The ballpark was also home to the New York Black Yankees. Guardians vs. Yankees with Negro Leagues uniforms at Hinchliffe Stadium on July 5 (the anniversary of Doby’s MLB debut) is a no-brainer. Get it done, MLB.

Dayn Perry: Let’s have a baseball version of the old Chicago College All-Star Game, in which the NFL champs would face a team of college football All-Stars in an exhibition. In this version, the reigning World Series champs would face a team of college All-Stars. Obviously, the MLB entrant would be massive favorites, but baseball has a great deal of built-in parity, so perhaps we’d see an upset from time to time. This would also be a good way to promote the under-appreciated college game. 

R.J. Anderson: It depends on the parameters. If we’re talking about a setting that played a prominent role in a film, then Durham Bulls Athletic Park is right there. If we’re talking more of a “this would be a dream setting” situation, then you have more varied options. In theory, MLB has the means to build a sandlot field just about anywhere. 

Advertisement



Source link

Continue Reading

Uncategorized

Could Kevin Durant Be Traded To The 76ers?

Published

on


(Photo by Dustin Satloff/Getty Images)

 

It has now been several weeks since Brooklyn Nets superstar Kevin Durant asked to be traded, and things have been moving very slowly on that front.

At first, the Phoenix Suns, Miami Heat and Toronto Raptors were rumored to have the most interest in him, but nothing came even remotely close to happening.

Advertisement

Days ago, the Boston Celtics got in on the sweepstakes, and now, the Philadelphia 76ers may be another possible landing spot for Durant.

For the past few seasons, the Sixers have been one of the best teams in the Eastern Conference, and they possess Joel Embiid, a bona fide MVP-caliber player and arguably the best big man in the game.

Would it be wise for Philly to risk what it currently has and make a major move for Durant?

 

Advertisement

The Sixers Are Going Nowhere With The Group They Have

On paper, the 76ers look like a legitimate championship contender.

Besides Embiid, they have James Harden, who has been one of the game’s most prolific players in recent years, as well as forward Tobias Harris, a very solid No. 3 option on offense.

In addition, Tyrese Maxey has emerged as a young impact player, averaging 17.5 points on 48.5 percent overall shooting and 42.7 percent from 3-point range, plus 4.3 assists per game this past season.

The Sixers also signed veteran 3-and-D forward P.J. Tucker and sharpshooting wing Danuel House Jr. to give themselves more depth.

But they’re also a fatally flawed team.

Advertisement

Harden saw his production drop big time in the 2021-22 campaign, as he shot 40.2 percent from the field and 32.6 percent from downtown.

He has also continued his track record of playing poorly in must-win games, as he took just nine shots and scored only 11 points when the Miami Heat eliminated Philly in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference semifinals.

The Sixers can’t expect to beat the Milwaukee Bucks, Boston Celtics, or Brooklyn Nets (with Durant and Kyrie Irving) in the playoffs with the group they currently have.

They need to go for it and aim for Durant in order to complete the “process” they’re so fond of talking about.

Advertisement

 

What Could Be A Fair Trade Offer For Durant?

The Nets are reportedly asking for a king’s ransom in return for Durant, but no one will likely offer them that much for him.

If they’re serious about getting rid of the former 2014 league MVP, they’ll have to lower their offer as training camp starts to approach.

Harris would be a good starting point, and perhaps the Nets would also demand Maxey.

Including Maxey in a potential Durant trade wouldn’t be wise for Philly though, as he is just 21 years of age.

Advertisement

Instead, how about the Sixers include Matisse Thybulle, who has emerged into an energetic 3-and-D wing off the bench for them?

The Nets would then want multiple future first-round draft picks, so the Sixers would likely have to include at least three of them.

Thybulle and Harris for Durant work, salary-wise, according to ESPN’s NBA trade machine.

The risks with this trade are that Durant will turn 34 at the end of this summer and has played in just 90 games over the last two seasons.

Three years after tearing his Achilles, he may be injury-prone, but his production and efficiency certainly haven’t suffered even one bit.

Advertisement

Durant could be just the man to deliver the Sixers their first world championship since 1983.

The post Could Kevin Durant Be Traded To The 76ers? appeared first on The Cold Wire.





Source link

Advertisement
Continue Reading

Uncategorized

NFL Insider Shares Injury Update For New Bears WR

Published

on


(Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)

 

Things are not going well for the Chicago Bears.

Roquan Smith, one of their best defensive players, demanded a trade from the front office.

Advertisement

Losing him will create a huge void in that unit and they have no one to replace him.

Aside from that unfortunate development, NFL Network insider Mike Garafolo shared an update about wide receiver N’Keal Harry.

Garafolo tweeted, “#Bears WR N’Keal Harry is undergoing tightrope surgery this morning after suffering a high-ankle sprain recently, a source says. Harry is expected to be sidelined for around eight weeks.”

Based on that timeline, Harry might miss the first quarter of the Bears’ regular season.

Advertisement

That’s a huge blow for a team that is trying to make a playoff return.

Personally, an injury is also the last thing that Harry wants, especially now that he would like to prove to the Bears that trading for him was worth it.

Despite being a first-round pick in the 2019 NFL Draft, the former Arizona State standout is yet to prove that he belongs in the NFL.

Last season, he only had 184 yards for the New England Patriots despite playing 12 games.

That number is a far cry from his 1,088 yards in his final year with the Sun Devils.

Advertisement

 

Next Man Up For The Bears

With Harry sidelined by injury, quarterback Justin Fields will have to rely on Darnell Mooney, Velus Jones Jr., and Byron Pringle in the passing game.

David Montgomery is also a versatile option in the pass or the run game.

As Harry waits to resurrect his NFL career, the Bears will continue to compete and hopefully shock their opponents.

They may not be regarded as one of the top teams in the NFC, but they can change that perception once the season starts.

Advertisement

The post NFL Insider Shares Injury Update For New Bears WR appeared first on The Cold Wire.





Source link

Continue Reading

Trending