Bruce on his ‘miserable’ season

While talking to Reds right fielder Jay Bruce on Saturday, he was rather candid about the season he’s had. I will have more on MLB.com/Reds.com later but Bruce said so much that I felt like some of it needed to be read on the blog.

Bruce entered Saturday batting .218/.294/.372 in 113 games with 14 home runs and 55 RBIs. He’s walked 44 times and struck out 128 times.

“I know it’s been miserable to watch for everybody. I understand it,” Bruce said. “It’s miserable for me to watch too. But I take a lot of pride in doing things the right way and never settling for whatever it is. Even when I had successful seasons, I felt like I was underachieving. These 400 or whatever at-bats of my hopefully 8,000 at-bat career or more – if this is going to bring something positive in the end, I’m willing to make the sacrifice for the bigger picture. It’s something right now that I take a lot of pride in finding those little, tiny nuances that are going to help me be a better player moving forward. People may not see it. Fans might not care. Fans want success right now and yesterday, the day before that and in April and May. I can’t blame them for that. That’s the whole point of the game, to be successful and win games. I’m working. That’s something I’m proud of.”

Bruce, of course, was on the DL from May 6-20 following arthroscopic surgery to repair torn meniscus cartilage in his left knee. He returned after an accelerated rehab process. He refused to use that as excuse for his poor play but admitted what manager Bryan Price said during his session today, that Bruce has been playing at less than 100 percent since his return.

“I think anyone who is familiar with the game of baseball and familiar with any type of surgery understands that there is period of time, ideally, where you have your surgery, you rest and you start rehabbing,” Bruce said. “There was no rest. I came back in two weeks, healthy enough to play. I’m a big believe that if you’re on the field, you’re expected to perform to a certain level. I haven’t been performing well. It’s led me to trying to do things with my swing, all kinds of stuff.”

On Thursday vs. the Cubs, Bruce tied a club record with a five strikeout game while going 0-for-5. It was a product of his season-long struggles and his latest efforts to tinker with his hitting approach.

“The other day when I struck out five times, my hands were six, seven or eight inches lower than they have been,” Bruce said. “I made the change myself. It was a test and it failed miserably. I’ll tell you what, I almost had a panic attack when I struck out the fifth time. It was the most embarrassing moment I’ve ever had on the field. It happens. It better not happen often, I’ll tell you that. You guys have talked to me for seven years now. I’m always trying to get better and create a better and cleaner path to the ball. It’s even more apparent when I’m not 100 percent that I need to do that. That’s the silver lining I’m taking out of all of this – really focusing and working on that. It can’t do anything but make me better.

“I’ve looked forward to taking the challenge head-on all year. It has not been fun. But it’s part of the game. I look forward to what’s going to come from it. Hopefully from today on, that’s something I continue to tell myself – that today is the day. You just have to keep working and not give into the frustration, to the pressure, to everything that comes with struggling and not being 100 percent.”

15 Comments

Please tell him he is in good company. Just keep on working and we believe in him.

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Jay may be trying too hard. That is a recipe for slumps when you try too many things rather than seeing the ball and hitting the ball. The key to all hitting streaks is to hit the strikes and take the balls. When you expand your zone it normally is a recipe for a slump. Take walks until pitchers adjust to your strike zone. With Joey out of the line-up Jay may be trying to carry too much of the load rather then just enjoying the game.

Jay, amongst other areas (contact) to improve, needs to learn to neutralize the shift, i.e. learn to bunt or slap the ball down the 3B line. Once he does that to keep the defense “honest”, he will have more holes to hit the ball through up the middle and through the right side of the field. This team and organization as a whole lacks fundamental baseball skills top to bottom.

They all need BP with curve balls. They all look like Little Leaguers. I hope there are some serious changes made to this team. .220 batters won’t cut it .

First of all, when Bruce came back he said he was 100% healthy and hadn’t felt this good in years. Now he says he wasn’t 100% and Price now says he’s not 100%. If he can’t get the job done because he’s still injured then shut him down and let him get rehab now and in the offseason.
Secondly, where is the hitting coach(HC) in all this. Bruce says he’s trying things on his own. What has the hitting coach suggested, has the HC and Bruce watched videos of Jay in a variety of games. If the HC has done all these things then maybe Jay is a blockhead and refuses to learn. Maybe the other teams have adjusted their pitching and what you see is what you are going to get from Bruce.
Finally, I’m very tired of hearing the injury card played. There are teams ahead of the Reds who have had their share of injuries and DL’d players. Oh, thats right, not as devastating as the Reds.

Not making excuses for him, but maybe he said the knee felt 100 percent healthy because it was early on…and now it’s simply worn down from the daily rigors of playing. He did hit .300 in June I believe before his nosedive. And I don’t think it said anywhere that he’s making all of these adjustments on his own. I’d gather he’s worked with Don Long or Lee Tinsley to work on things and heed suggestions. Honestly, I didn’t think to ask where the genesis of suggestions to tinker come from.

I tend to agree with Strong . Every team has injuries. When a team starts losing , they tend to play the injury card more ! The Reds are just not very good . Especially offensively. They all seem to want to hit the long ball and don’t know how to situational hit. That may very we’ll start at the minor league level .

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Schumacher why does he continúe to play. ..why..why. why

Nice attendance draw in Pittsburgh against Reds…
Attendance 38,023 (99.1% full)

What will help Jay is if he goes back and watches tape.. When he came back in 2010 and EEdmonds was here, he had the best swing in 5 pitches against the Cubs I seen in him. Sshort and compact swing and he hit 3 homeruns in 5 pitches.. AND he wasnt stepping slightly towards 1stbase!!.. ALSO, when Jay first came up, he used the entire field. He stepped and drove the ball the other way. He has to get out of being pull happy..and go back to doing that. If he looks at film of his struggles.. the biggest fault is the slight step towards 1st and pulling offf the ball. his homer the other day he stepped towards the pitcher and crushed it!! he needs to work on hitting the other way because even with the shift, he si still pulling outside pitchs.. why not make them pay for giving you the open left side..?? he is costing him millions in the future as the pitchers have figured him out

I like Jay personally but enough is enough , if you can’t cut down on your swing to make contact you are done , that simple , you gotta know your way ain’t working , if you can’t take advice , good luck in your next profession !

Jay must go if the reds will ever win again. Nice guy and all, but he simply must go if the reds ever want to go deep into the playoffs.

So refreshing to read HONESTY and not a bunch of hype or BS…. Jay will turn it around, with off season hard work…..

Pingback: Cincinnati Reds 2015 Projections: Jay Bruce

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