The difference between fouling a ball back to the screen and lining a double into the gap sometimes can be so minute that even the slightest mechanical change can make a huge difference.
“The saying goes that, in the big leagues, you get one or two pitches to hit. And in the minors, you’ll get three or four. You can’t miss them,” Ducks manager Kevin Baez said.
No one knows this better than Baez’s first baseman, Marc Krauss.
Since the second half began in early July, Krauss was hitting .353 with 10 home runs entering Saturday. He hit a three-run homer in a 9-8 loss to Lancaster on Saturday.
During the recent 12-game winning streak that vaulted the Ducks into first place in the Atlantic League’s Liberty Division, Krauss hit .289 with two home runs and nine RBIs. He hit .257 with seven home runs in the first half.
“I’ve made a couple adjustments that have gotten me into a better hitting position mechanically, as opposed to [the first half], where I was getting good pitches to hit and I would foul them off or miss them,” Krauss said. “Lately, I feel like if I’ve gotten a good pitch to hit, I’ve been able to barrel it up and hit it hard somewhere.
“I’ve tried to level my hands a tad bit and just tried to get a little more comfortable. It’s allowed everything to work a little more efficiently. It’s allowed my swing to be a little better and a little more consistent.”
Krauss credits teammate Jordan Pacheco with helping him pinpoint the minor issues in his swing.
“He has a lot of big-league experience,” Krauss said of the former Rockies, Diamondbacks and Reds utilityman. “He would get videotape out on our phones and just show us different things. For the first time all year, I was able to look at my swing on video and see what it looked like. I made a few adjustments on my own from there. It’s been working, so I’m feeling pretty good.”
Brewers buy Berry
The Milwaukee Brewers purchased outfielder Quintin Berry’s contract from the Ducks on Thursday. Berry, who played in the World Series with the 2012 Tigers and 2013 Red Sox, signed with the Ducks on July 2. He hit .228 with nine RBIs in 27 games (101 at-bats). Berry, known for his speed, had a six-game hitting streak and was hitting .333 in his last 24 at-bats when the Brewers came calling. He joined Milwaukee’s Triple-A affiliate in Colorado Springs.
Lannan calls it quits
Former Mets and Nationals pitcher John Lannan announced his retirement last week. Lannan, who played parts of eight seasons in the big leagues, signed with the Ducks on June 19. In 19 relief appearances he was 1-0 with a 6.65 ERA, striking out 27 and walking 12 in 23 innings. He allowed five runs and four hits in two-thirds of an inning against Southern Maryland on Aug. 12, his final appearance with the team.
Next up: Lancaster @ Ducks, 5:05 p.m., Sunday