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Alex Cora agrees with Twitter account 'Red Sox Stats' ... again

Rob Bradford
September 20, 2018 - 6:06 pm

NEW YORK -- Some of the key Red Sox have altered their approach to hitting, and it's starting to make Alex Cora a little bit uncomfortable.

It was a reality that truly took root with the Red Sox manager after seeing this tweet following his team's loss to the Yankees Wednesday night ...

"I saw that same tweet last night. My man, Red Sox Stats. That guy is amazing," said Cora when asked about the lack of aggressiveness from some of the Red Sox hitters.

"It’s something, I talked to Mookie (Betts) about it, one thing for sure, he’s been taking pitches but he’s still swinging the bat well. Against Houston, I think he took every first-pitch fastball against them. He had a great series. He swung out of the zone only once in that series. It’s not about swinging early, it’s about having the intent. I don’t like the pre-determined takes. I really don’t. Teams that are around the league, as you can see lately, it seems like they know what’s going on and they go strike one and they go from there. I think it’s a lot harder to hit when you’re down in the count obviously. The numbers show that. I talked to Mookie about it, he understands, but at the same time, it’s how he feels about his swing sometimes. He’d rather take.

"Xander (Bogaerts), I think, that’s the other one, I wish he would be more aggressive but with him, he’s a great two-strike hitter, he’s still doing damage with two strikes but I think as a whole, we’ve been very passive and that was before I saw the tweet, or whatever he put out there, you can see it. There’s a lot of 0-1, 0-2 and they grind out at-bats but 0-1, 0-2, 1-2 you’re not going to get too many pitches in the middle of the plate. You go to your two-strike approach and you’re not trying to do damage. I’m going to talk to them in their daily meeting we have, I’m going to address it, we’re going to talk about it, it’s not like we’re going to go out there and just swing, swing, swing because that guy that we’re facing today, he lives middle in, pitching along the edge of the strike zone but I think it’s a mindset and hopefully we can get back to that."

Cora, who hit .280 for his career when swinging at the first pitch compared to a .191 batting average with two strikes, can understand the merit of being the aggressor in the batter's box.

"Me? Horrible takes. I joke with them but I’m honest about it. You’ve got to see it your own swing. I live through them now. I wish I was that offensive player," he said. "Obviously my swing is a lot of different than all these guys but I always had this feeling that I had to work the count. Fastball down the middle? Oh-one. OK, that was a good at-bat but it was 0-for-4 at the end of the night. Now that I think about it I wish someone would tell me to be aggressive. I was the little guy hitting ninth, eighth. What are they going to do? Fastball right down the middle. You have a better shot at doing damage or getting on base or get on base or get a hit early in the count."