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Jim Leyland Lays Down the Law

It looks like Jim Leyland wants the Tigers to improve on two things in 2007.  He wants better production from his hitters with two strikes and better baserunning.  One thing I took out of the article by Jason Beck was that Carlos Guillen and Placido Polanco were amongst the top seven in the American League in hitting with two strikes.

Whenever I think of two strike hitters, I think of Lou Whitaker.  He always had a reputation of being a solid hitter with two strikes so I decided to check it out.  According to this page, Whitaker was a .218/.321/.355 hitter with two strikes on him (although the data appears to be incomplete). Hardly spectacular.  He was pretty good on the first pitch though (.313/.307/.553) so maybe he should have swung away more often.  

This doesn’t measure the effect that Whitaker might have had on a pitcher.  If he went to 0-2 then worked the count and fouled off a couple of balls, maybe taking the at bat to five or six pitches, then he’s making the pitcher work regardless of whether he got on base.  I couldn’t find any numbers on what Whitaker’s career pitches per plate appearance were so it’s hard to tell. 

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