Pirates' Barmes swinging for better year
BRADENTON, Fla. — After a miserable 2012 season, Pirates shortstop Clint Barmes knows he will have a lot to prove this year. That's one reason Barmes is among a handful of veteran players who chose to attend the team's minicamp this week at Pirate City.
Barmes, 33, is a 10-year veteran who will make $5.5 million this year. Barring a trade, he is a lock for the Pirates' roster coming out of spring training. Yet, he left his family in Colorado and flew halfway across the country for a week of voluntary workouts.
“Every year I've played this game, I've come in trying to prove something,” Barmes said Monday after taking a round of batting practice amid a steady drizzle on Clemente Field. “That's my mindset. It's never changed, and I don't think it ever will. Every year, you come in a year older. You get to a point in your career where issues may come up, like, ‘Can he still move? Can he still do this? Can he still do that?' That never changes.”
Last year, Barmes batted .229 — the second-lowest full-season average of his career — with eight homers and 45 RBI. His .593 on-base plus slugging percentage was the lowest among National League shortstops with at least 340 plate appearances.
Those low numbers mostly are the result of an awful first half of the season. Before the All-Star break, Barmes hit .204. After the break, he batted .257.
Barmes said his early-season struggles were caused by changes he made to his swing during spring training.
“I was trying to get my legs more involved, which slowed everything down and (put) my timing off,” Barmes said. “It was a grind. I dug myself into a pretty deep hole and had to spend the rest of the year trying to climb out.”
Over the final couple months of last season, Barmes went back to his old swing. He's kept at it this winter, working in the batting cage to teach his muscles to relearn old habits.
“I'm using my hands and trying not to do too much,” Barmes said. “That worked for me in the second half, so that's what I'm going to bring into spring training. I'm expecting to have a better start than I did last year.”
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Pirates notebook: Wainwright injury doesn’t sway Hurdle on DH
- Behind starter Liriano, Pirates complete sweep of Diamondbacks
- Gameday: Pirates at Cubs, April 27, 2015
- Biertempfel: Observations from a day at the ballpark
- Bradenton outfielder Barnes burdened by his body
- Sawchik: Young Cubs could threaten for foreseeable future
- Pirates notebook: Miffed Melancon finds success, will stick with his routine
- Super-agent Boras says Pirates will have opportunity to re-sign Alvarez, Cole
- Pirates notebook: No demotion for closer Melancon
- Pirates notebook: McCutchen unfazed by return to Arizona
- Polanco, bullpen come up clutch as Pirates capture win over Cubs