By John Hickey
Thursday, June 20th, 2013 at 12:21 pm in 2013 regular season.
When John Jaso came off the bench to go 0-for-2 subbing for the injury Derek Norris Wednesday night, it snapped a streak of 17 games in which he’d reached safely via a hit or a walk.
So what did he do to bounce back Thursday afternoon? He walked his first two times to the plate. It’s part of a deliberate strategy on Jaso’s part to spend more time swinging at good pitches and letting the bad ones sail by.
“I’ve adjusted by eye sightline,’’ Jaso said in explaining the uptick in number of walks he’s received and his batting average as well. He came into the game Thursday with 10 hits in his last 27 at-bats (.360), and those hits, coupled with seven walks, give him a .500 on-base percentage over that stretch.
And that percentage is something Jaso takes great pride in.
“I’m being able to stay behind the ball more,’’ Jaso said. “I’m not flying open when I sawing. And I’m being more aggressive at the same time I’m drawing more walks.’’
That’s not lost on manager Bob Melvin, who’s had him batting second much of the time in order to take advantage of his high on-base percentage.
“Jaso is swinging the bat really well and has a good on-base percentage,’’ the manager said. “He’s driving the ball again, too.’’
“I got tired of swinging at bad pitches,’’ Jaso said. “I needed to be aggressive in the strike zone and not chase balls out of the zone. It’s starting to work.’’