posted at 5/16/2012 12:22 PM EDT
In Response to Re: Gonzalez
Hmmm. I think a problem people run into when evaluating basbeall players is that they get an idea in their heads, and that idea keeps them static in their appraisal. Adrian indeed experienced a power dip post all-star break last year. I don't know if it was the shoulder, the HR derby, or a combo platter. But, we can say with certainty that it happened. And he certainly started slow this year. Yes, a spray hitter. But, as the weather has started to turn, Adrian has started to pick it up. If we look at the last two weeks, he has an OPS of .950 (over 1.0 last week). No, the HR stroke has not come yet, but 6 of his last 7 hits have been doubles. To boot, he would have put at least 2 that I saw in this last homestand out of other parks (the Wall giveth and the Wall taketh away). He has looked much more like Adrian Gonzalez in the past couple weeks. I would venture, based on his 1 HR and relatively pedestrian .457 slugging % in April in 2011, that Adrian, San Diego boy that he is, has trouble, as many power hitters do, in the cold weather. In any case, I'd say some people need to pay closer attention to what is happening now and pay a little less attention to raw HR #s. I would hate for people to miss out on what Adrian is actually doing. It is pretty fun.
Posted by SpacemanEephus
The numbers are misleading. Gonzalez is not hitting the ball with authority. ( I doubt those two balls leave the park elsewhere. They just as easily might have been caught in some parks. Petco, for instance. ) He is repeatedly being challenged right down Broadway and not connecting. He is chasing bad pitches too much. In short, "right now" he doesn't look like himself at the plate.
When a player is signed to hit home runs is not doing it, you have to pay attention. Close attention. I'm not sure your statement about power hitters in cold weather will hold up to close scrutiny over a long enough period of time.
One implication of what you are saying that is that Gonzalez might be better suited to playing in a warm climate. He didn't hit last April and September, and so far he has not hit in the early going this year. The Sox need him to hammer the ball in those months -- at the start and at the finish.
On balance so far this year, he has not been a big help to the club on offense. Any number of first basemen could so far have put up similar numbers to his. And, as I said, a few timely hits would probably have won games for the Sox.
He once said, "That won't happen again." The 0 for 8 hasn't happened again, but not not coming through when needed has.
Look, I expect him to hit better, maybe a lot better, with impressive power. But the "right now" is just that. Players have had bad years. He probably won't have one. But until he turns it around, "right now" is not what he's on the team for.