I don’t want to give the impression that I have any solutions, but allow me to present the problem. Evan Longoria is slumping and only God knows whether it’s his head, his foot, his body, his ego, or his homelife. Hopefully this stuff can get worked out and the Rays offensive machine can get back to humming, but for possibly the first time in his life Evan Longoria saw a pitcher, Ralph Macchio in this case, walk a guy just to face Evan. It was probably a smart move in the sense that Evan is really slumping and a great DP candidate if Machi could coax a groundball, but the matchup calculator which doesn’t factor in these things had Zobrist with an expected wOBA of .332, Longoria at .377, and Wil Myers at .338. Numbers aside, this speaks to what the opposition thinks of Evan Longoria right now. With no further introduction and minimal commentary here’s Evan’s 10-Game trends for key indicators over the year:
Uhh, that’s not good. How about his slash line:
After a recent period that saw many walks (wide gap between Avg. & OBP) that probably contributed to a power outage he started getting a little more aggressive which led to a temporary surge in power that has gone in the tank over the most recent period. Let’s check out his batted ball tendencies:
Line drives have been ticking up of late, but it’s most likely due more to putting fewer balls in play. With his strikeout numbers trending up everything he does hit is blistered, but he’s not making as much contact. We can check that with the plate discipline figures:
His O-Swing% has slowly been trending up over the year and now sits closer to 30% than 20%. He has shown some success with that approach making high levels of contact at various times, but that’s not really happening right now. The most important take away here is his Z-Contact, however. He’s now down around 60% over his last 10 games which is just abysmal. He may be expanding his zone slightly more than usual, but when he’s swinging at pitches in the zone he’s missing at an incredible rate. In fact, only one other time has he shown this drastic of an inability to hit pitches in the zone:
Towards the end of 2008 Evan was just as lost as he is now, but there is no other comparison, really. Fortunately, he went into his (and the team’s) first playoff game that year and it’s something I’ll never forget. He smacked two homers in front of the loudest crowd I’ve ever experienced at the Trop. Hopefully he can right the ship soon because this offense is predicated on Evan Longoria being a significant contributor. Not a guy you walk someone to face.