Originally written June 25, 2013 on Bush League Chronicle:
Your browser does not support iframes.There is no denying that Toronto Blue Jays slugger Edwin Encarnacion has been swinging a hot bat this season. After all, the Dominican native ranks second in the American League with 21 home runs and ranks third in the league in runs batted in with 63.But this particular at-bat during Monday's game against the Tampa Bay Rays didn't go so well for him. Encarnacion managed to lose hit bat not once, but twice during the same at-bat in a span of five pitches. And both times the flying bat wound up in the same area off to the third base side of the bag.There is no telling what caused Encarnacion to lose the grip on his hitting stick multiple times. However, an educated guess may be to assume that he indulged in a full serving of buttery popcorn right before the game. Or it could simply be that he just needed to apply some more pine tar to the handle of his bat.
1 Comment:
  • The real story behind Encarnacions thrown bat (or ANY thrown bat) is obsolete product design – the conventional baseball bat is a flawed design when paired with 21st century grip and swing techniques. I found your piece while doing a search after seeing a spot on the Today Show this morning – Encarnacion threw yet another bat into the stand yesterday.

    Conventional bat knobs are the root cause of thrown bats AND broken hamate injuries – all caused by massive compression in a batters hand immediately after the intended point of contact with the ball. The knob compresses the ulnar nerve, interrupts the signal from the brain to the hand and it releases.

    Interesting side note: thrown bats almost always land in foul territory. Why? The knob causes the base gripping hand to fail and it releases, the top hand maintains grip for a split second until the rotational torque of the bat pries it from the top hand and it helicopters into the stands. Watch it in slow motion, bottom hand loses grip first, then top hand – every time. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BpbSVkrDhxY

    Ah, but there's more to the story of obsolete bat design – there’s a performance impact too. If the bat knob is causing thrown bats and broken hamate injuries, what kind of impact is that having on batters swings? Answer: It acts like a speed bump a batter needs to fight through to complete his swing. It prevents batters from getting good plate coverage, inside and out, and it impedes their natural motion preventing them from getting the most power from their swing.

    It's only a matter of time until someone is seriously injured by a thrown bat... http://i1.wp.com/www.whaleoil.co.nz/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/Guy-gets-hit-in-chin.jpg
    or a player breaks his hamate, again, yesterday: http://mlb.si.com/2014/04/02/five-cuts-instant-replay-rangers-phillies-diamondbacks-giants/

    The obsolete bat design problem is a bit like the GM ignition problem. There is a clear and present danger to fans and players – now. It’s been well published that there is a problem. How does baseball address this?

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