MLB Spring Training 2012: Tracy Has Confidence in Fowler Despite Rough Spring
Manager Jim Tracy told MLB.com he doesn't care about the low batting average apparently, "You know something? Dexter Fowler could hit zero in Spring Training. He's playing center field in Houston on Friday, April 6th."
Many fans are worried about Fowler's slow start, as it's eerily similar to his 2009 and 2010 seasons. During both seasons he was sent down to the minors before coming back in the second half with a vengeance.
Just last season, Fowler was placed on the disabled list with an abdominal strain and sent down to the minors after he was healthy. Prior to the injury, he was hitting just .238 with 66 strikeouts and 31 walks.
When he returned, he brought with him a new leg kick. This leg kick helped him to hit .288 the rest of the way with 10 triples.
Hitting coach Carney Lansford cites Fowler's offseason training regimen as part of the problem. Lansford was quoted as saying:
"He lifted a lot this offseason, got a lot stronger, so he's trying to hit the ball farther, which is a huge mistake for him. I don't mind him lifting. I just don't want him changing mechanics from what he did the second half of last season."
Whether that's the issue or not remains to be seen, but it's clear that Fowler is struggling offensively. To go along with his .106 average, Fowler has 14 strikeouts in 47 at-bats, one home run, one RBI and only one double. He has just five hits all spring.
The vote of confidence should help Fowler's mindset and help him to settle in this spring.
Knowing that his job is secure, for now anyway, will help him to relax and go back to his usual productive ways.
Fowler is a catalyst at the top of the Rockies' lineup, so having him producing at a high level is immensely important to Colorado's success in 2012.
We'll just have to wait and see how this plays out.
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