The Cyclones lead the league in wins, and they also lead the league in strikeouts — by far.
In just the first four games of the young season, the first-place Cyclones have racked up a 3-1 record — and also whiffed 45 times.
By comparison, the next closest team has 29.
Skipper Rich Donnelly isn’t hitting the panic button — yet. But he does see some warning signs.
“Yeah, we got guys who strike out,” Donnelly said after Saturday night’s loss to the Yankees, when 12 Cyclones K’ed.
“In spring training, one day we had 17 strikeouts and another day we had twentysomething. We do have guys who swing and miss a lot.”
Donnelly singled out his “big swingers” Richard Lucas (five Ks in 11 at-bats), Luke Stewart (three Ks in 11 at-bats), Javier Rodriguez (four in 11) and Brian Harrison (six in 12) as needing more patience in the batter’s box.
“Big swingers like those guys strike out on strike 1,” Donnelly said. “Now guys who tend to strike out a lot learn to avoid that. They avoid getting that first strike.”
As every old hand knows, the batting average in the big leagues once that count gets to 0-1 is .180, but if the count goes to 1-0, the average is closer to .330.
“It’s unbelievable,” said Donnelly. “And that’s big leaguers, so you can imaging what it’s like here.”
For now, the skipper isn’t doing anything but remaining a calm presence in the clubhouse. But if the strikeouts continuing coming in bunches, the wins won’t.