Originally published by DodgerBlue.com
Among the Los Angeles Dodgers looking to bounce back from a disappointing 2022 season is Chris Taylor, who had the second-highest strikeout rate (35.4%) of any player with at least 400 plate appearances.
The 32-year-old hit an overall .221/.304/.373 with 25 doubles, three triples, 10 home runs, 43 RBI and 10 stolen bases in 118 games. He especially struggled during the second half, when Taylor missed time with a fractured left foot and also dealt with recurring neck trouble.
Unfortunately for Taylor, his offensive woes have carried over into Spring Training this year. Through 10 Cactus League games, he has collected only three hits in 26 at-bats while striking out 10 times.
Taylor isn’t concerned about the results and noted his swing remains a work in progress, via Bill Plunkett of the Southern California News Group:
“I needed to clean up some of my moves and be more efficient with my moves more so than bat speed right now,” Taylor said. “It’s something I’ve been working with the hitting coaches on. I don’t want to go into too much detail. Just trying to be more efficient. When I’m feeling good, I can cover the four-seam fastball and take that pitch to the opposite field and that kind of opens everything up for me.”
Taylor was among the Dodgers who visited the popular Driveline Baseball facility over the offseason and received tips on how to improve his swing.
“A lot of our guys have done that. Everybody does little different amounts. I just went there for a day to hear what they have to say,” Taylor said of his experience.
“It’s some valuable information. If you’re not taking advantage of all the resources given to you, what are you really doing? I think it’s important to be openminded. Some of the new stuff we’re adopting into the game is obviously working and helping a lot of players. I think it would be very stubborn to not give it a shot.”
Role change for Chris Taylor
Taylor was expected to be a big part of the center field mix this year, but those plans changed when Gavin Lux suffered a season-ending torn ACL and LCL in his right knee. Taylor will now see the bulk of his playing time as the backup shortstop, making 20-25% of the starts there and also filling in at third base.
“I think to have him get more familiar with short, play left field, take some innings at third base, I think that’s sort of how we see it,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts recently said.
“To have him and Miguel (Rojas) go back and forth, I think that’s kind of how we see it right now in spring.”
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