Tigers manager Jim Leyland mentioned Wednesday that he was going to have hitting coach Lloyd McClendon show right fielder Brennan Boesch something they picked up on video, a difference in his swing now, and his swing last year.
They're looking for reasons why Boesch, who's started hot in both of his previous two big-league seasons, is hitting just .222, and has gone 2-for-38 in his last 10 games. That cold spell came right on the heels of a four-game span when Boesch collected five of his nine doubles for the season, going 7-for-15 overall.
"Hopefully, we got something with Boesch. We looked at something that was drastically different from last year. We dissected it. Mac is going over it with him today – taking him to the cage and helping him figure it out because it’s significantly not even close to how he was swinging last year. It’s a mechanical thing, so hopefully, that’ll help," Leyland said.
And according to Leyland, despite the glaring lack of impact — Boesch was 0-for-4 in that night's game, failing to get a ball out of the infield — the conversation did actually take place.
"Yes, he did talk to him about it. He didn’t get instant success, if that’s what you’re leading to," Leyland acknowledged before Thursday's game. "There’s a difference between ‘Look at this, look at that,’ and just, snap, OK, I’m back at that."
So what was it, exactly?
"His hips were way over here on one swing, and on the other, they were where they were supposed to be," Leyland said. "He was just flying off the ball, which makes you work underneath the ball, and that explains some of that stuff to left field."
Boesch was back in the second spot in the order
for just the third time (May 9, 31) since Leyland switched he and Andy Dirks in the lineup the first week of last month.
"I hit him second today, because I feel like this should be — should be — a good matchup for him," Leyland said of the matchup with the sinkerballing Derek Lowe. "I’m trying to give him every opportunity to get in some type of a good situation that’s conducive to him doing well."