In 2010, L-Rod had maintained his career-long 433:337 minors batting EYE ... but had, improbably, added lots of power -- at absolutely no cost to his EYE.
400 at-bats said that he'd learned some things, and his minors coach Chris Chambliss thought as much.
He didn't get much of a chance in 2011 ... 100 at-bats in Safeco, and not many in Tacoma ... but the EYE remained at 13:15 in the big leagues and L-Rod gave the M's a lot of tough at-bats.
One season on, what's the conclusion?
L-Rod doubled twice into the right-center gap on Wednesday, absolutely nailing the ball both times ... and it was absolutely luck that the ball found grass between the fielders.
Safeco's fences just turned out to be too far away for him. Worse, he seems to have the anti-Ibanez swing shape, with the ball hanging up in the air when he drives it.
Tough for a shortstop to hit one way out there over the wall. And L-Rod likes to go down low, dig the ball out, and hit rising line drives. His GB ratio this year: 0.55 (with 0.9 being normal).
He looks like a hitter to me, but not one that we can use. A 5'9" middle infielder who skies the ball, he and Safeco ain't gonna get along.
He's 32 next year, and spent ages 28-31 trying to hit in San Diego and Safeco. I sure hope that he gets a friendly park to hit in next season. Looks to me like he's got a real shot at a couple of surprise years before he's over the hill.
M's backup infielders next year: Seager and Kennedy, at least in SSI's world. Keep an eye on that Seager-to-AFL storyline.