Kendrys Morales impressed a lot of people with how quickly he seemed to regain his timing at the plate during Spring Training.
Eight games into the season, though, the Angels designated hitter seems to have hit a wall.
Morales went 0-for-5 on Saturday and is now just 1-for-23 with seven strikeouts since going 4-for-4 in the second game of the season. Even worse, Morales -- who has batted cleanup behind Albert Pujols in five of his seven starts, including Saturday -- doesn't have a single RBI yet.
"I haven't felt well adjusted just yet," Morales, now batting .200 on the year, said in Spanish, prior to his club's 7-1 win over the Yankees. "I've had good swings, but I haven't been able to make good contact. You just have to give it a little bit more time to adjust a little bit.
"I think it has a little bit to do with the amount of time I went without playing. I think as I start seeing more pitches, I'll keep getting better."
Morales missed nearly two full seasons with a broken left ankle and didn't get back into Major League games until his Cactus League debut on March 22 -- a span of nearly 22 months.
The 28-year-old Morales swung the bat well immediately upon returning, finishing Spring Training with a .367 batting average (11-for-30) and two homers. But pitchers tend to attack hitters differently in April than they do in March, and so far, Morales has been swinging at a lot of pitches out of the strike zone.
"I think he's just getting re-acclimated to the season, re-acclimated to the grind," manager Mike Scioscia said. "He'll get there."