By Joe Christensen
In case you missed this, ESPN.com’s Jayson Stark weighed in last week on Delmon Young’s swing-happy start with the Twins:
• The Young and the Take-Less Dept.: Speaking of which, it’s no CIA secret that Delmon Young likes to takes his hacks. According to Bill James Online, in fact, he already has chased 50 pitches outside the strike zone this season — way more than Albert Pujols (19) and Chipper Jones (18) combined.
But Young’s new manager in Minnesota, Ron Gardenhire, told Rumblings this spring that the Twins made a conscious decision not to overemphasize plate discipline as they let Young evolve as a hitter.
“I watched Torii Hunter for like 10 years,” Gardenhire said. “You think Torii hasn’t swung? You know what? There’s nothing wrong with swinging. That’s why they give you a bat. This kid’s 22 years old. He’s got everything ahead of him. So let it fly. Learn as you go. He’ll learn the strike zone.
“To start telling a guy to just ‘take, take, take,’ sometimes that’s just not human nature. You don’t get to the big leagues, and you don’t become a big league player, by ‘take, take, take’ and get walks. Some people are paid to drive in runs. You think David Ortiz goes up there to walk? He’s paid to drive in runs. He walks because we walk him. On purpose. And that’s what’s going to happen to Delmon as he goes along, too. Right now, they know he’s going to chase a little bit, but that’s OK. I’ll take my chances with him letting it fly.”
I don’t have the subscription to BillJamesOnline.com, for the updated stat on out-of-strike zone swings. Young went 8-for-25 on the Twins’ six-game road trip, leaving him at .257/.287/.309 with no home runs and eight RBI.