Pedro Feliz is mired in the midst of one of the worst stretches of hitting in his brief career. Currently batting .186/.213/.329, Feliz hasn’t seen a fastball since before the All Star break last season, and appears unlikely to do so in the near future.
How bad is he? He batted an anemic .217/.271/.402 in the second half last season, a line that would represent a substantial upgrade over what he’s doing right now. It’s clear that teams will not throw him anything but off-speed junk, regardless of the situation. The Rockies just walked Moises Alou on four pitches to get to Feliz, prefering a bases-loaded with one out situation over even attempting to get Alou out. Feliz immediately grounded to third on the first pitch he saw, ending the inning.
Feliz has one main problem; he won’t stop swinging at every pitch he sees. Until he actually proves he can lay off the breaking balls off the plate, he’ll be killing the Giants with his complete failure at the plate. Last season, Feliz worked the count to 3-0 just one single time all season, and 3-1 just 12 times. He just saw a 3-1 count (3rd time this season) a minute ago, and hit a flare to right center that Freeman made a circus catch on.
The Giants have come out of the gate unprepared for the season’s action for the second year in a row. The bullpen is in shambles, the hitters appear to be clueless, they appear to have no plan, no set approach…. I mean, with five of the ten regulars hitting below .200, it sure seems to be a coaching issue. If it weren’t for some very timely hitting, and some very solid starting pitching, the Giants would be looking at a repeat of last season’s devastating start.
As it is, if Durham, Matheny, Bonds, Vizcaino, Neikro and Feliz don’t start hitting, and if the bullpen can’t perform better than a run per inning, this early run at first in the NL West will prove to be an illusion.