Monday, August 18, 2014

Oswaldo Arcia and Kennys Vargas

Oswaldo Arcia cracks his 11th homer of the
season on Sunday.
Kennys Vargas hasn't been in the majors long enough for teams to have reliable hit pattern data, but that hasn't kept them from employing the popular overshifts on him, at least when he's hitting left handed.

And Vargas has responded by going the other way a few times for base hits, including an RBI single in the first inning Sunday that gave the Twins a short-lived lead against the Royals.

That approach to dealing with the shift apparently hasn't sat well with teammate Oswaldo Arcia, who advised Vargas: "Don’t try to get a hit. We don’t pay you for hits. We pay you for RBIs and home runs.”

I don't know if there's a position player on the roster less qualified to serve as a hitting coach than the talented but overly-strikeout prone Arcia, whose production this year has not only been limited but often unimportant in game results:

That trend may be a fluke. Or it may indicate that Arcia is fattening his stats against pitchers who are merely mopping up, as was the case with his home run Sunday that inspired that tweet.

Vargas has the more mature approach -- and the one more likely to adjust to given situations and pitchers. And if he continues to get a couple singles to the opposite field each week, it will cut down on the infield shifts -- and provide some of those RBIs.

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