Patient Yelich seeing plenty of pitches at plate
WASHINGTON -- Who is on the mound helps determine if Christian Yelich will bat first or second for the Marlins.
Sometimes the 22-year-old sits against left-handed starters. On other occasions, he has batted second when Adeiny Hechavarria gets the nod to lead off.
The constant with Yelich is he will work counts and see pitches.
"He's going to hit at the top of the order, first or second," manager Mike Redmond said. "It goes, depending on how we go. I like the fact that he takes a lot of pitches and he's patient. He takes his walks."
In Wednesday night's 10-7 loss to the Nationals, Yelich reached base five times. He had three hits, including a double, and he walked twice.
The busy night helped drive up Yelich's average of seeing pitches. So much so that Yelich ranks seventh in the Majors in average pitches faced per plate appearance. Yelich averages 4.65 pitches per plate appearance. The MLB leader is Cleveland's Carlos Santana, who averages 5.05.
"I don't really go up there like, 'I'm going to see a ton of pitches,'" Yelich said. "I go up there trying to just have a good at-bat. The count just comes with the territory. I've gotten deep into some counts and got a few walks. I've had a few eight-, nine-, 10-pitch at-bats early so far. I just lay off the bad ones and try to get a good pitch to hit."
The Marlins have been effective scoring runs, largely because of Giancarlo Stanton and the middle of the order.
"That's really the key to the top of the order for us," Redmond said. "We need those guys to get on base. That forces their hand with Stanton and the middle of our order."