Following the 2021 season, there was plenty of chatter that the Detroit Tigers would land prized free agent SS Carlos Correa. Instead, Correa turned down the Tigers' offer and GM Al Avila opted to sign SS Javier Baez to a 6-year, $140 million deal.
Unfortunately, Baez has been horrendous at the plate during his first season with the Tigers as he is currently batting just .194 with three home runs and 13 RBIs in 37 games. His OPS is currently sitting at .538, which is by far his career-low if you don't include his rookie season.
Following Monday's game, Baez spoke to reporters and he gave a concerning reason for why he is struggling so much in 2022.
From Detroit News:
“I don’t have any excuses,” he said of his offensive struggles this season. “I’m not seeing the ball. I’m not following the ball. And you can’t hit what you can’t see.”
“I’m just trying to make the adjustments and see the ball,” he said. “Like I said, though, I’m not going out during the game and working on it. I work on it before or after. It’s hard with these (pitchers) and their plan. But there’s no other option but to come back tomorrow and try again.”
“Right now, it’s just about trust,” Báez said. “The way I’ve been struggling, I think I’m trying a lot harder and that only makes it worse.”
A.J. Hinch says Javier Baez is chasing hits
Tigers manager A.J. Hinch is encouraged by Baez's approach on Monday but says his shortstop is “chasing hits.”
“He wants hits,” Hinch said. “He’s chasing hits and he’s swinging at a lot of things. His approach to right field today was encouraging. He’s letting the ball travel a little bit (deeper in the strike zone). But the only thing that’s going to solve it is getting better pitches to hit and some success.”
Though Baez has been awful at the plate, he has still played well in the field and he knows that's an important part of the game.
“I always say, if you don't hit you've got to play defense,” Báez said. “If you don't hit, catch the ball. We still have to be focused. We're still trying. Hopefully the offense comes back and we can really take off.”
Let's hope the offense turns around quickly.