No worries for Naylor as rebound builds on ’23 success

So Naylor knew he didn’t need to panic when he hit a skid this season. He even said he doesn’t believe in slumps. He came out of the gate scorching hot this year, but from April 23 until May 3, he had a stretch where he was just 3-for-34 (.088) at the plate.

“I knew I wasn’t doing great, but I wasn’t really worried, to be real with you,” Naylor said. “I went through a rough patch the last few series, but I had to learn how pitchers were now pitching to me and how teams were trying to execute their game plan against me. I think I’m doing a better job of that, slowly. I’m not gonna say I’m back. I just take it one day at a time. If I take it one day at a time, things are gonna be good.”

Naylor said he noticed pitchers were no longer throwing him offspeed pitches down and in, or fastballs up and in. Everything was away. He struggled during that period, but since making an adjustment, he’s gone 5-for-12 with two homers and four RBIs in his past four games. Naylor wasn’t rattled, knowing that he can force pitchers to change their game plan if he stuck to his — a mantra that’s proven to be the key to his success for nearly a year.

“When you do something well, it’s a chess match,” Naylor said. “I think that’s why baseball is so beautiful.”