I wanted to comment on the article Dan wrote yesterday in regards to Givens. Like Dan, I am far from an expert on breaking down a swing, but after reading the article I decided to watch Mychal a bit closer at last nights game. I have a grat view on right handed hitters sitting in the front row between home plate and the visitors dugout nightly.
What I noticed is that just as a pitcher prepares for his release, Givens drops the bat slightly and actually rests it on his shoulder. I never noticed this before but it seems to me that it slows down his bat speed and he is behind on getting to many pitches. In thinking about it further, you could understand how in school, facing a lower level of oponents, he might be able to get away with it. However, now, facing better quality competition, it looks like he simply cannot get around on them fast enough. Now, not being an expert, maybe I am way off base. It seems, though that hitters I've seen hitting with success (Shutz, Schoop, Machado), seem better prepared to swing at the plate than Mychal does.
I think if this challenge continues, the O's might want to think about putting Mychal back on the mound.