Kearns trying to get out of slump
Nationals outfielder Austin Kearns finds himself in an 8-for-50 slump. Manager Manny Acta believes Kearns has some mechanical issues with his swing.
When things are going badly, Kearns is vulnerable to inside pitches and breaking balls on the outside part of the plate. Kearns has been working hard with hitting coach Rick Eckstein to get his swing back.
“I have been out of rhythm,” Kearns said. “I’m trying to get back in rhythm. I’m trying to see the ball and have good at-bats. I’m trying to get the good feel back.”
Earlier in the season, Kearns had a good feel for hitting. He had more of an opened stance, shortened his swing and was hitting the ball all over the place.
“Since I’ve been working with Rick, I’m trying to keep that consistency — repeating that swing I haven’t had in a while,” Kearns said. “During the first month, I was getting to where I was pleased. In the last two or three weeks, I have been trying to get into that rhythm, trying to get that feel.”
Kearns is in the last year of three year, $16.5 million contract, and it has been reported that he is on the trade block. However, teams have not called the Nationals about him, according to a baseball source. It’s also highly unlikely that the Nationals will pick up his $10 million option in for 2010.