He was working with Brad Chalk on his ability to hit the ball with backspin and changing the outfielder's thinking on the subject. While the premise of the backswing is to swing down towards the ball, the thinking can actually lead to trouble, including popping the ball up.
That is the type of thing that isn't being sought. Muser asked Chalk to keep it simple.
"Don't think ‘down on the ball'", Muser said. "That leads to pop-ups, which is really frustrating. Make sure your hands stay on top of the ball and out."
The natural plane of ones swing should do the rest. If the hands stay on top of the ball, the bat plane will be on a downward plane as it enters the hitting zone. Then, with the release and follow through, it creates the required backspin being sought.
Instead of asking Carrasco to make wholesale changes to his swing and thought process, Muser put forth the challenge of making minor and reachable goals that will result in more rewards.
"One more walk and one less strikeout every seven games played," Muser told Carrasco. "Don't worry about the homers. They will come."
Carrasco struck out 162 times while drawing 59 walks. Over the course of the season, Carrasco can make a dent into the lofty strikeout totals while also seeing more pitches – the prerequisite for playing in the Padres system.
Parrino had drifted off-center and Lezcano was on him for not giving the outfielder a proper target and line to home.
"Stay in a straight line to home. Don't rely on the guy (backing you up) behind you."
Parrino understood the error as well as the reason .
"Everything seemed to come together," pitching coach Dave Rajsich said. "He is very poised and balanced with his delivery and his changeup has really improved. The fastball command has gotten better and the confidence. It is all there."
After a shaky start on Thursday, Kluber ended up pitching relatively well, giving up three runs on three hits over five innings.
It may very well be the best staff any Padres minor league affiliate has touted.
"The staff is very impressive looking," Rajsich said.
"I see some very good arms in our starting rotation," Lezcano added. "Hopefully they stay healthy and get better."
"I see some speed with our position players," Lezcano said. "We don't have the power we have had in the past."
Will that force him to change his managing tactics?
"Chalk can run a little bit. Payne can run a little bit. We have Perry. We will hit-and-run and steal some more and go from there. You manage the people you have."
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