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Gonzo: What causes a change like this?


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#1 Reverend


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Posted 11 June 2012 - 08:27 PM

This is Adrian Gonzalez's hit chart for the two seasons before he joined the Red Sox. Look at not just the long balls, but how the mid-range line drives are clustered. Consistency like that? He hits like a machine.

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This is Adrian in the first half of last year--fewer at bats so less articulation, but still some good clustering, although the cluster in left seems a bit more diffuse.

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So, uh, here's the chart since:

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It's not just the lack of the long-ball, but rather he is hitting in a way that is fundamentally different. Beyond just some wailing and gnashing of teeth and rending of garments--maybe an occasional boo--does anyone have an idea of what causes such a change in hitting?

I mean this in terms of we have an observable effect in how he is hitting liners differently. What might cause this?

#2 Nomar813


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Posted 11 June 2012 - 09:28 PM

The most striking change about Gonzalez has been his more aggressive approach at the plate. His swing percentage on pitches outside of the zone is 37.3%. It was 35.5% last year. The highest it ever reached in San Diego was 31.8% in 2010. He's making much more contact on pitches outside the strike zone and seeing a career-low 3.64 pitches per plate appearance. Is it pressing? A change in mentality? Whatever the cause, I think he's hitting a lot more pitchers' pitches and putting many of them into play.

#3 C4CRVT

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Posted 11 June 2012 - 09:33 PM

I look at that and wonder if the shoulder surgery was not a full success. The power to deep left has vanished. If someone could cross post the chart of where in the zone he's hot/cold over the same period, I'd love to see if it matches up with my (limited and non-scientific) observation of a hole on the outside lower quadrant.

#4 Wingack


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Posted 11 June 2012 - 11:57 PM

The most striking change about Gonzalez has been his more aggressive approach at the plate. His swing percentage on pitches outside of the zone is 37.3%. It was 35.5% last year. The highest it ever reached in San Diego was 31.8% in 2010. He's making much more contact on pitches outside the strike zone and seeing a career-low 3.64 pitches per plate appearance. Is it pressing? A change in mentality? Whatever the cause, I think he's hitting a lot more pitchers' pitches and putting many of them into play.


He took a walk tonight, but I saw it mentioned Grantland today that he hadn't drawn a walk in 100 at bats.

#5 absintheofmalaise


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Posted 12 June 2012 - 05:59 AM

Mark Simon, from ESPN, did a heat map comparing 2011 and 2012 for Gonzalez. It looks like you're looking at two totally different hitters.
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#6 Snodgrass'Muff


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Posted 12 June 2012 - 07:31 AM

That 2012 heat map combined with the increased O-Swing and O-Contact% paint a gruesome picture. It's almost as if he's been in a funk and decided to be more aggressive to try and slug his way out of it which only made it worse... except that he has a career high F-Strike% which is the opposite of what you'd expect someone being more aggressive to do. I suppose the increased F-Strike% could also be pitchers attacking him more early because of the fact that he's been less effective, but his swinging strike rate is right in line with his career norms (8.9 vs 10.1 career). It's really strange. Looking at some stats, he seems more patient than normal (or at worst, just as patient as always), but others suggest a more aggressive approach.

What stands out most to me, and what frightens me the most is that his ability to hit the four seam fastball and the change up have dropped off the table. His wFB was 40.1 last year. It was 20.1 the year before that and 29.6 in 2009. It's at -2.7 right now. He actually has a negative value on four seam fastballs. His wCH dropped from 5.8 last year to 0.7 so far this year. And yet, he's not seeing similar drops against other pitches. It's almost as if he simply can't hit straight pitches anymore. I'd argue that he can't catch up to fastballs anymore, but he's doing fine against two seamers. In fact, his wFT is 4.1 this year while having a negative cumulative value for his career (-15.2).

It's incredibly strange that his ability to hit four seam heat has literally vanished this year.

Edit: I don't know why this didn't click with me when I originally posted this, but a higher F-Strike% could absolutely be the result of a more aggressive approach as F-Strike% isn't first pitch looking strikes, it's just first pitch strikes. If he's hacking and either missing or fouling off more first pitches, it would account for the rise in F-Swing% that he's had this season. Durr.

Edited by Snodgrass'Muff, 13 June 2012 - 12:28 PM.


#7 Clears Cleaver


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Posted 12 June 2012 - 07:42 AM

He looks like a guy who cannot pick up pitches at all and is guessing as much as anything. I would say eyesight but that is much too easy a solution. the heat chart suggests, too, that he bailing out/opening up quickly (lunging) becasue he can't hit a fastball and thus his ability to hit the ball the other way is significantly diminished. the blue regions at the top of the zone are almost entirely fastballs, lower in the zone and in are more likely to be breaking pitches from righties.

that is one ugly chart and suggestive of a guy who any decent command pitcher could get out almost at will

#8 TomRicardo


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Posted 12 June 2012 - 07:52 AM

Looks like a guy with a sore left shoulder who can't extend to get the lower outside corner. Good thing he is playing outfield.

#9 biollante


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Posted 12 June 2012 - 08:21 AM

He is either injured or has vision problems (like Jim Rice did back in the day). I am going with injured. Somebody should really be examining him from the Sox, this doesn't make sense.

#10 Rudy Pemberton


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Posted 12 June 2012 - 09:33 AM

Or, this is just the beginning of a swift decline that will have him out of the league in three years. Now, I don't believe that, but some guys do lose it at 30, don't they?

Good to great players can have lousy seasons, sometimes it's an injury, a personal of the field issue, new surroundings, a bad start that just can't be overcome, etc.

But yeah, I'm going with he's hurt, because the alternatives are just too scary.

#11 glennhoffmania


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Posted 12 June 2012 - 09:46 AM

He may be hurt but his approach also looks different to me. Aside from a couple of games last week when he started to look like he was coming around, he isn't taking the outside pitch to LF as often as he used to. It appears like he's trying to pull them too often, so he clears his hips faster and either hits it weakly to the right side or misses the pitch altogether.

#12 NickEsasky


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Posted 12 June 2012 - 10:00 AM

He may be hurt but his approach also looks different to me. Aside from a couple of games last week when he started to look like he was coming around, he isn't taking the outside pitch to LF as often as he used to. It appears like he's trying to pull them too often, so he clears his hips faster and either hits it weakly to the right side or misses the pitch altogether.


This is because he's cheating on fastballs. Whether it's because of an injury or trying to slug his way back into things I don't know, but it's plainly obvious he's doing it.

#13 yecul


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Posted 12 June 2012 - 10:03 AM

Sometime in late winter it will be reported that his arm fell off mid-season and it took a while for the duct tape to fall off. The surgery will keep him out until 2014. It's the subsequent surgery to fix the problem that the previous one didn't that will be the worst.

You know it's going to happen.

#14 Pumpsie


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Posted 12 June 2012 - 11:23 AM

Those ESPN heat charts are absolutely scary. Two different hitters, indeed. And, yes, it seems as if his left shoulder is hurt as TRic says, and he can't extend it out to cover the outside or go to left field with power. He's waiting for inside pitches he can yank close to his body, resulting in a lot of ground ball outs to second. I agree with the majority here that he's nursing an injury. This team seems cursed with bad injury luck, lately.

#15 C4CRVT

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Posted 12 June 2012 - 12:10 PM

Those ESPN heat charts are absolutely scary. Two different hitters, indeed. And, yes, it seems as if his left shoulder is hurt as TRic says, and he can't extend it out to cover the outside or go to left field with power. He's waiting for inside pitches he can yank close to his body, resulting in a lot of ground ball outs to second. I agree with the majority here that he's nursing an injury. This team seems cursed with bad injury luck, lately.


If only there were some hint prior to the trade or extension that his shoulder was potentailly problematic. Isn't there a shoulder injury clause in his contract?

#16 Savin Hillbilly


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Posted 12 June 2012 - 01:06 PM

And, yes, it seems as if his left shoulder is hurt as TRic says


The right shoulder is the one that he's had trouble with in the past. Are we saying that now the other one's hurting as well? I would think that the tendency to pull and difficulty executing strong opposite-field swings would be more indicative of a bottom-hand (right) shoulder problem--if he's favoring the right shoulder, the left (top) hand would tend to take over and turn the swing into a yank, no?

#17 Pumpsie


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Posted 12 June 2012 - 01:16 PM

The right shoulder is the one that he's had trouble with in the past. Are we saying that now the other one's hurting as well? I would think that the tendency to pull and difficulty executing strong opposite-field swings would be more indicative of a bottom-hand (right) shoulder problem--if he's favoring the right shoulder, the left (top) hand would tend to take over and turn the swing into a yank, no?


I think you're right. It would be the right shoulder that has to reach out and hold firm, especially when the left hand leaves the bat, and that's in line with his prior injury. Now, it seems as if, as you say, the left hand is staying on the bat longer, perhaps by sheer necessity, and causing the ball to be pulled more often.

Edited by Pumpsie, 12 June 2012 - 02:08 PM.


#18 Kenny F'ing Powers


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Posted 12 June 2012 - 01:46 PM

Judging from the hit charts, it looks like he's pressing a little.

By that I mean that many of the balls he usually hit for singles into center field are now heading into the gaps. I wonder if (A) Hes pressing for more power instead of taking what the pitcher gives him or (B) He's trying to take advantage of the smaller confines of Fenway and swinging for the fences instead of going up the middle with the ball.

Either way, these charts say those balls he was shooting up the middle are now heading into the power alleys (particularly leftcenter.)

Edited by Kenny F'ing Powers, 12 June 2012 - 01:47 PM.


#19 Al Zarilla


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Posted 12 June 2012 - 01:54 PM

This is like all of us but DaveRobertsShoes thinking we have a chance of intelligently having a go at a medical problem we know little about, but: the one theory I've heard why lefthanded hitters are such good lowball hitters (we've all heard Joe Morgan say that) is that most of them are true right handed at everything else, so the right arm is more highly developed. They can therefore go down and dig out the low ball with good power. Abs' good times - bad times heat map power chart shows his lowball slugging percentage down big time this year. Ergo, right shoulder bad, if either is bad.

Edited by Al Zarilla, 12 June 2012 - 10:33 PM.


#20 Reverend


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Posted 12 June 2012 - 05:41 PM

I'm think I'm seeing shorter power stroke in the data--which could very much be related to a shoulder injury (something to look for tonight). No extension for power. Look at the two major red zones on the current hit chart--middle up and low and inside. In terms of physicality, this makes sense to me: these are two places you could still smack on a swing if you were protecting/guarding a shoulder injury by keeping things in instead of letting the swing fly.

I can also see how this would reduce the possibilities of bat control and the nice even stroke that allowed him to drop those liners in to settled patterns in all fields in the past. As KFP mentions, if he's pressing and/or trying to muscle things absent the nice stroke, that could be what's leading to the changes in drop--I'm also wondering if he's grounding out to the first base side more.

Edited by Reverend, 12 June 2012 - 05:42 PM.


#21 Kull


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Posted 12 June 2012 - 09:14 PM

So, uh, here's the chart since:


Apologies for my lack of spray-chart-obtaining skills (google failed me), but could you post a chart with just 2012? It might show if there's any further degradation since the end of '11

#22 Reverend


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Posted 12 June 2012 - 10:18 PM

Apologies for my lack of spray-chart-obtaining skills (google failed me), but could you post a chart with just 2012? It might show if there's any further degradation since the end of '11


No worries--I live to serve:

Posted Image


Mercy, but doesn't that look awful? Good call...

Also, if you or anyone else is interested in playing with this stuff, check BrooksBaseball.net pitchfx tool for fantastic individual game break downs, and pitchfx.TexasLeaugers.com for stuff on pitch attempts and results across time for both pitchers and hitter.

These guys are changing how we understand baseball, and allowing us to crowd source our thoughts. So cool.

#23 Al Zarilla


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Posted 12 June 2012 - 10:35 PM

This is like all of us but DaveRobertsShoes thinking we have a chance of intelligently having a go at a medical problem we know little about, but: the one theory I've heard why lefthanded hitters are such good lowball hitters (we've all heard Joe Morgan say that) is that most of them are true right handed at everything else, so the right arm is more highly developed. They can therefore go down and dig out the low ball with good power. Abs' good times - bad times heat map power chart shows his lowball slugging percentage down big time this year. Ergo, right shoulder bad, if either is bad.

Ugh, just re-read and I originally said that the left arm is more highly developed. Changed to right.

#24 uncannymanny

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Posted 12 June 2012 - 11:56 PM

He is either injured or has vision problems (like Jim Rice did back in the day). I am going with injured. Somebody should really be examining him from the Sox, this doesn't make sense.


I don't know either way if it's vision or injury to the shoulder, but I remember an article early last season, which I of course can't find right now, about Gonzalez as a hitter and he said something to the effect of "a lot of guys are guess hitters, but I am a hitter who sees the ball/rotaion out of the pitcher's hand." I wouldn't discount the vision thing totally as a possibility.

#25 StuckOnYouk

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Posted 12 June 2012 - 11:56 PM

If all this conjecture is true - that he is having shoulder issues still that are sapping his power - I would hope the team would get this taken care of as soon as it looks like they're out of the playoff picture and not wait until sometime in October or November. I'd like to start 2013 as healthy as possible. Haven't we earned that at least?

Edited by StuckOnYouk, 12 June 2012 - 11:57 PM.


#26 Pearl Wilson


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Posted 13 June 2012 - 07:03 AM

It's easy to focus on the shoulder because of the history but my inner first aid provider wants to avoid tunnel vision and do a "full body assessment". Some have suggested his vision and one would hope Gonzo and the team would be on top of any vision problem. Are there any torso, hip, arm, leg injuries that could cause this pattern of disability?

Gonzo may be the only one who knows what's going on and we don't know how open he is being with the team. He's an analytical type so I would think any change of approach is not an accident but a conscious attempt on his part to compensate for something he is feeling.

#27 absintheofmalaise


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Posted 13 June 2012 - 11:59 AM

Nice shout out from the intrepid Chad Finn today in his piece about Gonzalez.

#28 Kull


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Posted 13 June 2012 - 08:59 PM

No worries--I live to serve:


Glad to hear that because I couldn't find spray charts on either site, so must come back to the well again with this: Would it be instructive to see Gonzo's 2009 April-June and 2010 April-June charts for a side-by-side-by-side comparison with his 2012 production? The sheer number of extra data points in the mult-year charts makes it hard to spot conclusively what has really changed. Seeing those "same period" charts from when he was playing well could be interesting.

#29 Robert Plant

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Posted 14 June 2012 - 09:13 AM

Has anyone seen Adrian take batting practice lately? Is he consistently hitting the ball hard to the opposite field? If so, perhaps his issues have more to do with his approach at the plate rather than a physical issue.

#30 pjheff

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Posted 14 June 2012 - 11:06 AM

Has anyone seen Adrian take batting practice lately? Is he consistently hitting the ball hard to the opposite field? If so, perhaps his issues have more to do with his approach at the plate rather than a physical issue.


I've been to the last three games, watched Gonzalez take BP last night and warm up between innings in RF, and not once did I get the impression that he was favoring an injured shoulder.

#31 Doctor G

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Posted 14 June 2012 - 11:16 AM

I don't know either way if it's vision or injury to the shoulder, but I remember an article early last season, which I of course can't find right now, about Gonzalez as a hitter and he said something to the effect of "a lot of guys are guess hitters, but I am a hitter who sees the ball/rotaion out of the pitcher's hand." I wouldn't discount the vision thing totally as a possibility.

I doubt that he would be playing right field if he was having vision problems. Valentine has said the main reason he is confident in Adrian's ability to be at least competent in right is his ability to judge the batted ball off the bat, which is wholly a function of vision.
i think he is swinging at a lot more pitches above the belt than he did last year.In short, he is an anxious hitter who is not managing his strike zone.

#32 uncannymanny

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Posted 14 June 2012 - 12:11 PM

While I completely agree that his strike zone judgement is unsound atm, trying to judge the rotation/end-location of a baseball traveling at 90+mph from 60' 6" is a lot different that judging the angle of the ball off the bat from 300'. I'm not saying that poor vision IS his problem, just that I don't feel like it should be wholly dismissed as a possibility. Our medical staff doesn't have the best track record of late, but there has not even been a tiny sliver of a shred of doubt about the shoulder expressed by anyone affiliated with the team.

#33 Marbleheader


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Posted 14 June 2012 - 01:58 PM

I was curious what his swing % were like compared to the rest of his career, so I took a look on Fangraphs. One thing worth noting is the creeping O-contact % and O-swing % (pitches outside the strike zone). It does seem that the pitches that he is putting into play, often early in the count, are not in the zone. He's not getting the quality at bats we saw early in the year last year. However, the rest of the numbers are more in line with his career norms than I expected.

Adrian Gonzalez Plate Discipline
PITCHf/x Plate Discipline
Season Team O-Swing% Z-Swing% Swing% O-Contact% Z-Contact% Contact% Zone% Pace
2007 Padres 31.50% 68.40% 49.00% 61.70% 83.30% 76.00% 47.40% 22.3
2008 Padres 30.30% 64.90% 46.20% 57.80% 84.50% 75.00% 45.90% 22.1
2009 Padres 24.80% 66.40% 42.90% 65.70% 84.10% 78.10% 43.30% 22.6
2010 Padres 30.60% 66.30% 45.90% 66.30% 86.00% 78.50% 42.60% 22.1
2011 Red Sox 33.30% 64.60% 47.10% 70.10% 89.30% 81.70% 43.90% 22.7
2012 Red Sox 35.50% 68.80% 51.30% 76.20% 85.20% 81.90% 47.50% 22.6
Total 30.40% 66.30% 46.50% 65.60% 85.50% 78.30% 44.70% 22.4


While looking at that, I wanted to see how he was faring against fastballs, since it appears he's 'cheating' a bit on them. Roughly 61% of the pitches he's seen this year have been fastballs. I realize these aren't necessarily predictive , but they do paint a picture of a batter whose approach is quite different from the one we saw last year.

Adrian Gonzalez Pitch Values
Pitch Values
Season Team wFB/C wSL/C wCT/C wCB/C wCH/C wSF/C wKN/C
2004 Rangers 0.67 -0.5 -2.35 6.74 -25.86
2005 Rangers -0.15 -1.81 1.74 -0.94 -1.99 -9.71
2006 Padres 1.07 -0.59 3.42 -2.77 0.84 -2.79 -4.75
2007 Padres 1.21 -0.67 0.64 1.13 0.32 1.71 -0.49
2008 Padres 0.59 -1.57 0.41 1.86 1.16 7.21
2009 Padres 1.82 -1.28 0.51 0.3 1.12 11.19
2010 Padres 1.26 0.94 -2.95 0.63 2.82 2.39
2011 Red Sox 2.57 -1.5 1.4 -0.7 2.06 0.94
2012 Red Sox -0.6 3.36 2.82 -2.53 0.89 0.97
Total 1.24 -0.67 0.81 -0.18 1.22 3.02 -2.26


#34 greek_gawd_of_walks


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Posted 14 June 2012 - 02:55 PM

Fundamentally he is a completely different hitter. The spray charts, heat maps, and stats illustrate this.

For me, it's all about his approach (which could have been spurred by an injury, a real chicken or egg scenario). Gonzo averaged seeing 2,675 pitches the last 5 years. He's on pace for 2,525 pitches, a decrease of about 5.6%. A drop of a 150 pitches is fairly significant. Seeing less pitches (fewer hitter's pitches) and shorter ABs indicates that he is completely lost in what his aim is at the plate. Couple that with the obvious lack of power from the spray charts and his inability to hit seemingly any pitch in the strike zone with any authority evidenced in the heat maps, there is a serious problem.

Looking at Gonzo's splits pertaining to pitch counts from this year to last year is fascinating too. I just looked a B-R. In 2011 Gonzo had 275 PA (39% of all his plate appearances) when he was ahead in the count (hitting at .411/ .571/ .721), which left 239 PA with the count even, and 201 PA with the pitcher ahead. This year Gonzo has 92 PA in which he is ahead in the count, but he's just not taking advantage of these situations (he owns a modest .286/ .424/ .471 line). This leaves 102 PA with the count being even, and another 83 where the pitcher is ahead. Gonzo is having less hitter's counts and doing less with them when he finds himself in one. I think I just talked myself in circles. Probably nonsense.

One other number. 1. The number of times Gonzalez has been intentionally walked. Nobody worries about facing this guy. He's not a number 3-4-5 hitter at this point. From 2006- 2011 Gonzo drew 113 IBB's (yes, a huge part of that is because San Diego had absolutely no lineup protection at all). Last year he had 20.

I'm worried.

Edited by greek_gawd_of_walks, 14 June 2012 - 03:19 PM.


#35 Marbleheader


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Posted 14 June 2012 - 05:34 PM

Adrian, home run swing, early 2011


Posted Image


Adrian last night


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It's difficult to screen grab at the exact same moment and the camera angles aren't identical, but his swing is so much more fluid and balanced last year. when is the last time we saw a picture perfect swing like this from him?

Posted Image

#36 Buzzkill Pauley


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Posted 14 June 2012 - 06:31 PM

The angles are too bad to conclude anything, but it appears to me that AG has both deepened his crouch and closed his stance slightly.

#37 jimc

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Posted 14 June 2012 - 06:58 PM

That HR from last year was the day before he hit one off Sabathia and said:

"He said, 'I'm going to give it a little Ichiro and leak a little bit,'" Francona said. "He amazes me. When you say you're going to do it and then you do it, that's pretty impressive."
Said Gonzalez, "When a pitcher's beating me in, it's something I do to create a little room inside and make sure I don't miss fastballs in. He was just pounding me in. I wasn't picking up the ball well, swinging at pitches I don't normally swing at. It would be dumb of me to go up there and try the same approach again, you know?"


The swing on the posted HR off Colon looks similar; after that game he had something similar to say:

“Bartolo was going to pound me in. I knew that. He wasn’t going to give me much to go the other way with,” said Gonzalez. “My gameplan was to pick and choose my spots to look for a pitch middle-in that I could drive to right field. After ball one, I thought that would be a good spot, and I think he left it more middle than he wanted to.”

This was a textbook case of adapting an approach. Though Gonzalez would ordinarily stay back on the ball and drive it to the opposite field, he was mindful that Colon would work to deny him his strength. And so, Gonzalez continued to demonstrate the exceptional plate coverage – turning on balls in, driving balls on the outer half of the plate to left field – that has fueled his home run binge in recent days, with seven homers in 10 games.


So the difference between that HR stroke and the stills from Wednesday's game probably reflect a conscious (documented) difference in approach in that particular AB rather than a mechanical change from last year. Of course that's still illustrative---maybe he's not trying those things this year or guessing wrong when he does.

#38 Pearl Wilson


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Posted 14 June 2012 - 07:02 PM

While I completely agree that his strike zone judgement is unsound atm, trying to judge the rotation/end-location of a baseball traveling at 90+mph from 60' 6" is a lot different that judging the angle of the ball off the bat from 300'. I'm not saying that poor vision IS his problem, just that I don't feel like it should be wholly dismissed as a possibility. Our medical staff doesn't have the best track record of late, but there has not even been a tiny sliver of a shred of doubt about the shoulder expressed by anyone affiliated with the team.

.

I don't know what the true answer is but your statement above is just plain wrong.

Magadan feels the lack of power from Gonzalez was due to several factors.
"When you are spending the offseason trying to rehab from a major surgery [labrum of right shoulder in October 2010] like that, you know, I think he got to spring training and continued his rehab in spring training, didn't start hitting until the middle of March, I think it wore on him as the season went on," Magadan said. "And when he went to the All-Star Game and took all those swings [in home run derby], that amount of fatigue on his body and in general, he was different when he came back. I know he doesn't concur with that, doesn't agree with it, but I saw a difference in his swing. As the second-half started to wear on, he started to … I don't want to say complaining, it was bothering him, his shoulder was bothering him."


WEEI

Edited by Pearl Wilson, 14 June 2012 - 07:15 PM.


#39 Marbleheader


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Posted 14 June 2012 - 07:05 PM

Posted ImagePosted ImagePosted ImagePosted ImagePosted ImagePosted Image

Tried to match two NESN home broadcasts this time. Top photo in each set is a home run in early 2012, bottom is a double from 2012. Just looking to compare.

#40 uncannymanny

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Posted 14 June 2012 - 11:00 PM

I don't know what the true answer is but your statement above is just plain wrong.

WEEI


I was specifically referring to this season, but I hadn't seen this quote either. He had a full offseason to recover from the point that Magadan is referring to. Most everyone agreed that he wouldn't be 100% coming into last season (which I feel a lot of folks forgot about after the good start and just assumed he was fully healthy), so I never saw him coming out of the gate hot and fading after trying to hit a ton of bombs in the HRD as all that surprising.

What I do find disconcerting is that AG has always said that his shoulder has been fine since arriving in Boston, but he was apparently feeling some level of discomfort in the latter half of 2011. It makes me wonder how honest he is being with the coaching/training staff this season. The screen grabs above show a guy that is just a mechanical mess, especially #2, so you definitely have to question if he is trying to gut something out. How hard does a team push for an MRI on a guy in a situation like this?

This link (sorry about the mobile version, EEI's site doesn't let you de-mobile) has both Valentine and Magadan saying it's mechanical/pitch selection issues. The word "shoulder" isn't even in the article:

http://m.weei.com/sp...adrian-gonzalez

#41 xjack


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Posted 15 June 2012 - 12:04 PM

I wonder whether letting him participate in the ASG home run hitting contest was a terrible mistake. In hindsight, it would be like letting a pitcher 6-months removed from shoulder surgery enter a contest in which he has to throw as many 95-mph fastballs as possible.

#42 Marbleheader


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Posted 15 June 2012 - 12:41 PM

I wonder whether letting him participate in the ASG home run hitting contest was a terrible mistake. In hindsight, it would be like letting a pitcher 6-months removed from shoulder surgery enter a contest in which he has to throw as many 95-mph fastballs as possible.


FORT MYERS — Looking back now, five months after the Red Sox’ ignominious end to last season, Adrian Gonzalez finally can admit it. He regrets participating in the Home Run Derby.
Just not for the reasons you may think.

Gonzalez still bristles at the notion, to which Red Sox hitting coach Dave Magadan subscribes, that the event disrupted his timing, messed with his swing and caused him to hit 10 home runs and slug .489 during his last 70 games after he had belted 17 homers and slugged .591 in his first 89 en route to establishing himself as an early AL MVP favorite.

But before the Red Sox worked out here yesterday, Gonzalez revealed that he aggravated his surgically repaired right shoulder while diving for a line drive a few days before the All-Star Game. And by agreeing to join teammate David Ortiz [stats] in the annual homer-hitting contest, he put undue strain on his already-weakening joint.
“It wasn’t the Home Run Derby. It was the fact that I banged up my shoulder prior to the Home Run Derby,” Gonzalez said. “It’s just something I did the week before. I didn’t want to bail out on the Home Run Derby. I should have. All it did was it didn’t give it time to heal.”


http://bostonherald....to_gonzos_swing

#43 kartvelo

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Posted 15 June 2012 - 01:13 PM

Yep. Aggravated his surgically-repaired shoulder and a few days later participated in the HRD. This organization is loaded with genius.

#44 reggiecleveland


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Posted 15 June 2012 - 04:14 PM

Really he couldn't go to his media savy team Captain and have him create cover by inviting another of his boys to the derby?

#45 Smiling Joe Hesketh


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Posted 15 June 2012 - 06:24 PM

Baseball players are stupid. We're seeing this exact thing play out with Pedroia's thumb now.

The organization needs to take a much firmer hand in telling these guys that they are not going to participate in idiotic stunts and aren't going to continue to play through injuries requiring DL time. It always backfires horribly when these chuckleheads try to do so. Enough already.

#46 reggiecleveland


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Posted 15 June 2012 - 06:31 PM

What I don't get is the constant twisting of the lineup to keep hi in there. Plying RF can't help his hitting can it? It would be like Dhing Crawford last year

#47 fineyoungarm


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Posted 15 June 2012 - 07:21 PM

What I don't get is the constant twisting of the lineup to keep hi in there. Plying RF can't help his hitting can it? It would be like Dhing Crawford last year


Logic "tells you" he can't be hurt. "They would know. They have Mass General and a dozen other first class medical institutions available. They would do something". "Your" gut and umpteen years of watching this team "tells you" - he's hurt - this isn't Adam Dunn we're talking about here. This guy is (was) an elite hitter.

It is enormously frustrating and depressing - moreso I think than any of the other issues confronting the team this season - because the truth is we (or at least I) don't have a clue about why our supposed .300+/30 HR/100 rbi #3 hitter for the next 5 to 10 years is so mediocre.

The truth seems to be that we cannot even rule out something as absurd as his eyesight. Surely, it's been checked every which way. (Really? What makes you so sure fya?) See - now I'm talking to myself.

#48 Toe Nash

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Posted 15 June 2012 - 07:22 PM

Gonzalez is now 3 for his last 22 with 2 BB and 5 K in that time. 2 of the 3 hits were grounders through holes. The expected poor defense is starting to show up.

I guess neither Middlebrooks or Youkilis are clearly hitting better but at least they are playing their natural positions and doing alright in the field. I'd like to see them get the majority of the playing time until Youk either shows he's done and can be the backup corner infielder or can be traded.

#49 Doctor G

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Posted 16 June 2012 - 09:03 AM

From the interviews quoted regarding his post ASB struggles last year, it seems likely that what is happening is that Gonzalez got into some bad habits last year in the second half, and is still struggling to get his swing back on track.
this happens to golfers. He is lost in his own adjustments.

#50 Harry Hooper


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Posted 16 June 2012 - 06:45 PM

From the interviews quoted regarding his post ASB struggles last year, it seems likely that what is happening is that Gonzalez got into some bad habits last year in the second half, and is still struggling to get his swing back on track.
this happens to golfers. He is lost in his own adjustments.


This is certainly possible, but one of his few brief post-ASG power surges last season cam after getting a cortisone shot.