DETROIT -- Since tallying 13 hits in his first 34 at-bats, Matt Adams has found himself in a recurring battle to maintain the approach that got him to the Major Leagues in the first place.
In an effort to find better at-bat to at-bat consistency, Adams said he recently made some mechanical tweaks with his swing at the urging of hitting coaches Mark McGwire and John Mabry. None of the adjustments were major, though Adams noted that he saw and felt a payoff on Wednesday.
"I felt really good last night," Adams said on Thursday. "I'm just seeing the ball a lot better and felt a lot more comfortable at the plate. I just think I got out of my comfort zone a little bit. I started chasing more pitches and got anxious. It's just tough whenever the pitchers find a weakness in you. They just hammer you until they see that you're able to make that adjustment."
The pressing has shown in Adams' results. After that hot nine-game start, Adams recorded just seven hits in his next 48 at-bats. Only two of those went for extra bases, and Adams struck out 16 times during the 17-game span.
"It's a trap that happens to almost every young kid when he comes up here," manager Mike Matheny said. "Early on, he was doing a really nice job of sticking with what he knew was his typical approach. Then he fell into where he thought he had to do more, regardless of what the hitting coaches were telling him. He starts trying to do more, and that usually leads to bad things."
While Adams is encouraged by recent progress, he may soon be continuing that work back in the Minors. With Jon Jay and Matt Carpenter set to come off the disabled list soon, Adams is a candidate to be sent out. The Cardinals prefer that Adams continue to get regular at-bats, and that is unlikely to be possible when Jay and Carpenter are back in the mix.