1. Matt Holliday's luck is improving, and that probably explains why we're seeing a rise in his recent numbers. There's no question that Holliday was lapsing into a few bad habits as he tried to heat up early in this season. For example, he's been swinging at the first pitch 40 percent of the time, the highest rate of his career. He's chased more pitches out of the strike zone; the rate of 37 percent is up from the 29 pct. in 2011 and 2010. So you can make the case that Matt's more aggressive (impatient?) approach was working against him. That said, Holliday also ran into some bad luck early on. Holliday's current batting average on balls in play is .243, which is by far the lowest mark of his career. He's never been lower than .333 in a season in BA in balls in play. So when you hear Cardinals manager Mike Matheny saying that Holliday has hit the ball hard, but right at fielders, he's speaking the truth. Holliday's .243 BABIP will almost certainly rise. Among qualifying MLB hitters, Holliday ranks 152nd in batting average in balls in play. The extreme dip is encouraging in this regard: that .243 is likely to go up, and up, and up. Holliday's line-drive rate (18 percent) is only slightly down from last season (21 pct.) and actually higher than in 2010 (17 pct.) So that's a good sign. His swing-and-miss rate is down a little, which is good. Holliday is making contact at his normal career levels.
Bernie Bytes: Holliday will be fine
St. Louis Post-Dispatch | May 3