Make us your home page
Instagram

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

New hitting coach Derek Shelton says Tampa Bay Rays' hitting problems aren't as bad as they seem

The view from the stands, the couch and the computer screen is apparently clear: It's Derek Shelton's fault.

All of it.

The first-year hitting coach's alleged inadequacies are the reason for the Rays' extended offensive slump, as well as the sluggish economy, the traffic, the weather, the poor service at the local restaurant and your significant other's headache.

First, you should know Shelton, who has lived in the bay area a dozen years, is glad Rays fans now care so much. Second, you should know he doesn't really care what's being said about him.

"If they want to blame me, that's fine," Shelton says. "I'd rather they blame me than (the players)."

The way Shelton sees it, things are not nearly as bad as they appear from the outside.

He considers the ongoing lack of offense another of those "funks" teams — all teams — go through during a 162-game season.

He is concerned at how much the Rays strike out (924 times, first in the AL, third in MLB), but not as much since they also walk a lot (482, first in MLB).

And though having the team hit .251 (23rd in MLB) and six players under .240 isn't good, Shelton said batting average isn't as good a gauge as on-base percentage, runs created (and scored) and slugging percentage. Also, working good at-bats, getting deeper into opposing bullpens, etc.

He points to the Rays ranking third in the majors with 578 runs (4.98 per game). And, oh yeah, being second with 70 wins.

"As long as we win, I'm not really concerned about it," Shelton said. "If we win 1-0 from here on out, I'm happy."

And how much does manager Joe Maddon blame Shelton for the lack of offense?

"Zero, zilch, nada, negative, negative 10," Maddon said. "That is so wrong.

"Absolutely everybody was very pleased in the beginning of the year when we were kicking butt, we were scoring, we were driving in runs at a ridiculous pace. And all of a sudden we stopped doing that, and so all the stuff he was teaching at the beginning of the year that was working, now he's forgotten all that? Was that all wrong? Of course not. … We, individually, have to do better."

New hitting coach Derek Shelton says Tampa Bay Rays' hitting problems aren't as bad as they seem 08/14/10 [Last modified: Saturday, August 14, 2010 11:36pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Trump: Objection to NFL protests 'has nothing to do with race'

    National

    MORRISTOWN, New Jersey — President Donald Trump insisted Sunday that his opposition to NFL players kneeling during the national anthem to protest police brutality "has nothing to do with race" but …

    President Donald Trump speaks to reporters upon his return to the White House in Washington, Sunday, Sept. 24, 2017. Trump insisted Sunday that his opposition to NFL players kneeling during the national anthem to protest police brutality "has nothing to do with race" but has to do with "respect for our country and respect for our flag." [Associated PRss]
  2. World War II vet, 97, takes a knee in support of anthem protests

    Human Interest

    SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — On a day when NFL teams grabbed the nation's attention by coordinating demonstrations during the national anthem, a 97-year-old World War II veteran went viral with a solitary show of support for the protests.

    Brennan Gilmore posted a Twitter picture Sunday morning of his grandfather, John Middlemas, kneeling while wearing a veteran's cap. [Twitter]
  3. NFL Week 3: What we learned

    Bucs

    Take the knee … well, not NOW

     1. Photo of Roger Mooney for Times Sports.
  4. Marc Topkin's takeaways from Sunday's Rays-Orioles game

    The Heater

    RHP Chris Archer's primary problem Sunday, as in much of September, was a lack of slider command. When he can't throw it where he wants, and doesn't have the confidence in the changeup to throw it often, he can't win with just his fastball.

  5. Somehow, Rays' Chris Archer remains just shy of being an ace

    The Heater

    BALTIMORE — Chris Archer had another bad game Sunday.

    Chris Archer is sputtering to the finish line, his rough start on Sunday his fourth in his past five in which he hasn’t gotten past four innings.