DocMilo, on 11 March 2012 - 05:14 AM, said:
RF? Well that's what this whole things is about. Can we call it Ichiro's new approach vs stance or swing? His approach has changed because his role has changed. Whether it's 20 homers or 15 homers and 5 triples, I think we have to wait and see if our RFer is going to be considered a power bat or not. So far in 12 ab's Ichiro has 1 double. Let's see if he can get that slugging up into the .450 range by any means possible.
Personally, I find it strange that we're now in an all or nothing situation with respect to Ichiro's new approach. In fact, I have a hard time agreeing with the idea that hitting for power is the solution to his problems in the first place. The argument is that his average has dropped so he needs to compensate for that by improving his SLG, but why focus on power and not taking some more walks to boost his OBP? That's also a legitimate route to making him a productive player again, but it seems to have been discarded as an option.
There's always been this idea that Ichiro could hit numerous more HRs every year if he wanted to, but that he chose not to do so to boost his hit totals. Well, the exact same thing has been said about walks. His statement about "fans not coming to see him take a walk, but to get a hit" has been used as a stick to beat him with on more than one occasion, but it implies the same thing: that he could take more walks if he wanted to, but throughout his career he's made a conscious decision not to do so. As far as I'm concerned it's far more plausible that Ichiro could boost his OBP by taking more walks than it is that he'll suddenly morph into a middle of the order hitter with power. The former is an adjustment, the latter is a complete reinvention.