The title of the June 10 post on WEEI.com was "Bobby Dalbec has a plan to turn things around". Evidently, that was actually the case.
Since that day where Dalbec sat on the outskirts of the Red Sox' Fenway Park dugout, trying to offer insights into what had gone wrong to that point and how it was going to go right, the first baseman has been on fire.
In his last eight games, Dalbec is hitting .367 with a 1.258 OPS and three homers. In the Red Sox' latest win -- a 7-1 victory over the Royals -- he managed to pop his ninth homer of the season to go along with a triple.
The expected? That a vast majority of the contact has resulted in extra-base hits. In fact, 57.7 percent of his hits since May 7 have been for extra bases. The unknown? Whether or not Dalbec could offer could offer consistency against righties and lefties.
Well, he has.
During this 10-day stretch, Dalbec has gone 9-for-21 against right-handers, with all three of the homers coming against that version of hurler.
Suddenly, the perceived trade deadline priority of at least finding a left-handed-hitting complement to Dalbec at first base might be changing just a bit.
"Swing decisions, I do believe he is doing a better decision with that," said Red Sox manager Alex Cora regarding Dalbec. "I don’t know if you guys have noticed, he started choking up a little bit his bat. It feels like you have more control of the barrel that way. THere was a game he didn’t play and Alex didnt play and I saw them talking a lot and I think that came from that conversation. But at the end of the day we know when he gets on a roll he’s really good. The fact that he hit a slider to the pull side and then that changeup, that was pretty impressive right there, going the other way. But I think the quality of the at-bats are a lot better, the fact he went the other way with a line drive, that’s good too and we’ll keep working with him, we’re going to keep helping him. We’ll give him a few days and we’ll pick certain days we stay away from him but most of the time he’ll be out there, he’s doing a good job for us."
The manager added, "I think everybody forgot, and he won’t accept it, he won’t say it, but he was in such a good groove toward the end of spring training, when we went to Bradenton remember he got hit on the hand and we had to stay away from him for a little bit. I do believe that that kind of took him off his groove a little bit. Obviously the league is making adjustments, they’re pitching him differently, the up and downs of the season, he’s still a rookie, he’s still learning. It’s hard to struggle, but he’s been there, he’s been in this spot. At one point, it looked ugly to be honest with you and he knew it but he kept putting work and we made some adjustments as far as his routine, he made some adjustments on his own and right now he’s doing an amazing job."
It is interesting to look back at the conversation Dalbec engaged in 10 days ago, one that reeked of determination and confidence. His final quote? "Things will turn."
He wasn't wrong.
"Just trying to ride the wave," Dalbec said after his latest game. "Let go of things quicker. Just not put as much pressure on myself day to day, pitch to pitch. Just trying to have more fun. Have fun with it. Team is winning, that's all that matter."