KANSAS CITY — Adrian Gonzalez is hitting .264 with two home runs and 15 RBIs, numbers that have made him a target for fans and some segments of the media.
During a lengthy conversation at his locker this afternoon, Gonzalez admitted that his struggles have become frustrating. But he vowed that he will produce as expected.
“I can’t focus on the statistics. I know [the media] has to, that’s their job. But the home runs will be there. I look at batting average with runners in scoring position, on-base and slugging,” he said.
“The only thing I can say is that when the last day of the season comes, [his slugging percentage] is going to be over .500 and the on-base is going to be around .400. You may not see it right now because it’s May 7. But I promise you when the season is over, the slugging will be over .500 and the on-base will be around .400. It is every year.”
Gonzalez said his surgically repaired right shoulder is now fine. But he admitted that wasn’t the case last season, particularly in the second half.
“I had to have a bunch of cortisone shots and I had tendinitis and all sorts of stuff going on. It’s all in the past now. It’s 100 percent now. My shoulder is 100 percent,” he said.
As to his hitting woes, Gonzalez said his approach at the plate has become skewed.
“The only thing that has hurt me at times is the fact that I’ve been trying to elevate the ball. So I’m swinging underneath stuff and I tell myself, ‘Stop doing that.’ Then I try and get on top and I hit it on the ground,” he said. “I get frustrated by the back and forth. You try and make it happen instead of letting it happen. You get caught in the middle. That’s the battle I’m fighting. I don’t want to hit the ball on the ground ever. Now that I have a healthy shoulder, I’m expecting myself to do things. I’m kind of forcing it a little bit.”
The first baseman also said that talk of his having trouble playing in Boston is inaccurate.
“It has never been a transition. I don’t understand why people talk about the transition,” he said. “People talk about transitioning to the American League and the Boston market and all that stuff. That has zero effect on anything. Why? Because I don’t pay attention it. I hit. I don’t care where I’m playing. I don’t care where I’m hitting. I don’t care who I’m hitting against. I’m trying to help the team win. That’s the only thing that matter.”
See the Globe tomorrow for more from Gonzalez.