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Gonzo: What causes a change like this?


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#51 lexrageorge

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Posted 16 June 2012 - 08:17 PM

The likely outcome is that if the Sox are out of the race come 9/1, expect A-Gon to be shut down.

#52 Eric Van


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Posted 16 June 2012 - 10:49 PM

Meanwhile, Lars Anderson is .371 / .487 / .742 in his last 18 games (76 PA) and up to .273 / .397 / .495 on the season. If they can justify DLing Gonzalez so that he can try to straighten out his mechanics while on rehab, it's very likely to help the team.

#53 Marbleheader


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Posted 17 June 2012 - 08:42 AM

Gonzalez had all offseason to straighten out his mechanics. He's a smart guy, and I'm sure he put his time in this winter. I have my doubts that two weeks is going to cure what ails him. It would certainly help the team, though.

#54 glennhoffmania


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Posted 17 June 2012 - 11:02 AM

How about just giving him a day off once in a while? I'm floored that he hasn't gotten a break during these IL road games. He's played in every game this season and they have a logjam at corner infield right now. What is the reasoning behind keeping a struggling player in the lineup every single day, even if it means playing him out of position on a regular basis, instead of letting him sit and going with a combo of Ortiz/Youkilis/Middlebrooks for a couple of days?

#55 Smiling Joe Hesketh


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Posted 18 June 2012 - 07:40 AM

.239/.268/.380

That's what he's hitting over his last 28 days. There's something pretty clearly wrong with him and at this point I can't see how a DL stint would be hurtful to him or the team. Call it a shoulder issue and run every test known to man on the guy to see if there's something torn in there.

#56 Rudy Pemberton


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Posted 18 June 2012 - 09:11 AM

It could just be a shit season, good players have them. Look at Adam Dunn this year and last (or Mike Lowell in his last year with the Marlins). It's odd and we can look for explanations, but isn't there sometimes no real reason?

#57 Smiling Joe Hesketh


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Posted 18 June 2012 - 09:12 AM

Of course there's a real reason. Dunn got his mechanics screwed up last year and never fixed it, this year he's figured it out.

#58 glennhoffmania


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Posted 18 June 2012 - 09:15 AM

It could just be a shit season, good players have them. Look at Adam Dunn this year and last (or Mike Lowell in his last year with the Marlins). It's odd and we can look for explanations, but isn't there sometimes no real reason?


What if one of the real reasons is that he's not comfortable playing RF but he's trying to be a good teammate and not complaining about it? This idea that they need to move their very slow, very expensive and very good 1B to RF so that Middlebrooks or Youkilis can get more ABs is ridiculous.

Edited by glennhoffmania, 18 June 2012 - 09:16 AM.


#59 TomRicardo


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Posted 18 June 2012 - 09:16 AM

There is absolutely no reason not to give him some time off now. Let him hit the DL and do a rehab stint for a week to work on his swing.

They should have done this while they were on the road in the NL and while Lars Anderson was hitting everything under the sun.

#60 Rudy Pemberton


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Posted 18 June 2012 - 09:32 AM

What if one of the real reasons is that he's not comfortable playing RF but he's trying to be a good teammate and not complaining about it? This idea that they need to move their very slow, very expensive and very good 1B to RF so that Middlebrooks or Youkilis can get more ABs is ridiculous.


Could be, but he was playing poorly before he was moved to RF. There could be a million reasons (distracted / personal issues, injury, eyesight, loss of skills, trying to do too much / stress, etc.).

At this point, I'd be inclined to play WMB and Gonzalez every day, and staple Youks to the bench, Easier said than done, dumping Youks is probably the only way this happens.

#61 glennhoffmania


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Posted 18 June 2012 - 09:36 AM

Could be, but he was playing poorly before he was moved to RF. There could be a million reasons (distracted / personal issues, injury, eyesight, loss of skills, trying to do too much / stress, etc.).

At this point, I'd be inclined to play WMB and Gonzalez every day, and staple Youks to the bench, Easier said than done, dumping Youks is probably the only way this happens.


Sure, that could be true. I guess all I'm saying is that when a guy is clearly struggling (unless they know of an injury that we don't) it doesn't make a whole lot of sense to disrupt him further by making him playing a new position, especially when the marginal upgrade by getting more ABs more Middlebrooks or Youkilis is slim at best.

#62 Rudy Pemberton


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Posted 18 June 2012 - 09:46 AM

Sure, that could be true. I guess all I'm saying is that when a guy is clearly struggling (unless they know of an injury that we don't) it doesn't make a whole lot of sense to disrupt him further by making him playing a new position, especially when the marginal upgrade by getting more ABs more Middlebrooks or Youkilis is slim at best.


I agree, in theory. The problem is that Youkilis is struggling too; so how do you get him going? You either have to send down WMB, and commit to giving Youkilis the AB's, or get rid of Youkilis. In hindsight, Bobby possibly not wanting Youkilis on the team (if such rumors are to be believed) makes sense given the current logjam.

There's just no way to play Gonzalez, Youkilis, Ortiz, and WMB without someone being disrupted.

#63 glennhoffmania


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Posted 18 June 2012 - 09:53 AM

I agree, in theory. The problem is that Youkilis is struggling too; so how do you get him going? You either have to send down WMB, and commit to giving Youkilis the AB's, or get rid of Youkilis. In hindsight, Bobby possibly not wanting Youkilis on the team (if such rumors are to be believed) makes sense given the current logjam.

There's just no way to play Gonzalez, Youkilis, Ortiz, and WMB without someone being disrupted.


I agree, there is no ideal solution. However, this became an issue due to Middlebrooks' hot start. He hasn't been that hot lately:

Last 14 days: .192/.290/.192
Last 28 days: .278/.333/.352

Small samples and all that, but it's not like sending him down for a little while to get regular ABs would mean taking a hot bat out of the lineup right now. See what Youkilis can do with consistent ABs at 3B, and see how Gonzalez responds back at his normal position, and reevaluate in a couple of weeks.

#64 Kull


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Posted 21 June 2012 - 08:35 AM

Of course there's a real reason. Dunn got his mechanics screwed up last year and never fixed it, this year he's figured it out.


I was on the third base side last night, and made it a point to watch Gonzo's mechanics during his five at-bats. The stance looks fine and even the swing looks clean, to the point i kept asking myself, "how is he not connecting with that?". What I hadn't really seen before is he's got this timing pump with the left elbow. It starts at roughly a right angle to the ground, and he'll give it a downward pump, sometimes more than one, during each pitch. But there didn't seem to be any rhyme to it. Sometimes there was a weak waggle, others (more rare) it looked strong and deliberate. If he's using that to somehow time his swing, no wonder he's all over the map. The only time it looked consistent was during a fairly long at bat (3rd?) where he was fouling pitches and seemed to look more coordinated with every swing.

If anyone has access to some game film from last year when Gonzo was raking,it would be interesting to see if there's anything noticeably different going on with that now. Hard to believe that somebody on the team wouldn't have picked up on this if it's factor, but there it is.

#65 sachilles


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Posted 21 June 2012 - 09:36 AM

You have to believe that Bobby V has at least considered the idea that Gonzo is injured some how, and discounted it. Otherwise, there is absolutely no explanation for not giving him a day off some where. As mentioned up thread, there are currently several options to back him up regardless of position. Sure, when they first put him in right field, that made short term sense.
If he IS injured, it has to be something they don't feel will get worse.
Even if he is perfectly healthy, I find it a little odd they haven't given him a game off yet. Certainly looks like there was an attempt with the final cubs game, with a team off day following it.
Since the right field experiment started on May 19th, he has had only 6 multi hit games. 4 of those were on nights when he played right field. Looking at his game logs, he really started to struggle a week prior to his first appearance in RF. Very small sample size, but I don't think playing outfield is the cause of his issues.

#66 luckysox


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Posted 21 June 2012 - 10:48 AM

I think one of the issues with giving Gonzo a day off is that he does not want a day off. He battles against it. He believes he is paid to be in there. The trade off may not be worth it. Especially since, frankly, one day off is not going to suddenly cure Gonzo of his mechanical, physical or emotional woes. At least I don't think it will. I mean, really, can a guy be this bad for this long and expect a day off to magically make things better? I guess I think it might be more like Clay - he had one bullpen session or warm up before a game where something clicked - and he has pitched much better since. It may be that Gonzo will find his stroke in that fashion - by swinging and trying, rather than by watching. And it's very, very likely that that is how he THINKS he'll find it, which has to count for something.

#67 Smiling Joe Hesketh


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Posted 21 June 2012 - 11:02 AM

I think one of the issues with giving Gonzo a day off is that he does not want a day off. He battles against it. He believes he is paid to be in there. The trade off may not be worth it. Especially since, frankly, one day off is not going to suddenly cure Gonzo of his mechanical, physical or emotional woes. At least I don't think it will. I mean, really, can a guy be this bad for this long and expect a day off to magically make things better? I guess I think it might be more like Clay - he had one bullpen session or warm up before a game where something clicked - and he has pitched much better since. It may be that Gonzo will find his stroke in that fashion - by swinging and trying, rather than by watching. And it's very, very likely that that is how he THINKS he'll find it, which has to count for something.


Has he said anything like this of late? I haven't seen it, but I may have missed something along the way.

What struck me the other night is an AB where he got a couple of absolute cookies right down Broadway and was late on both of them. He then flailed vainly at crap in the dirt to strike out. It was disconcerting to say the least.

#68 luckysox


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Posted 21 June 2012 - 03:43 PM

You know, I just did a quick google check and didn't see anything saying he hates sitting from his year besides a blog piece by some regular schmoe, but I distinctly remember him stating last year that he does not like to sit, and I remember Tito commenting on it. I recall an off season interview when he spoke about being in there every day because that's his job...again, I am having trouble finding it and don't have the time to look more completely.

I agree with you - he looks awful and has missed pitches that he would have launched in the past...I'm just not sure sitting him is the answer because if it ticks him off, then he's angry and sucking. Probably not worth it.

Edited by luckysox, 21 June 2012 - 03:43 PM.


#69 fineyoungarm


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Posted 21 June 2012 - 05:16 PM

Are we not obsessing about BV's comments yesterday that playing RF may have messed up Gonzalez's swing, because:

1. We do not understand how that could be?

2. His hitting was in decline before he started playing some in right?

3. We are exhausted by how impenetrable this mystery is?

#70 C4CRVT

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Posted 21 June 2012 - 10:10 PM

D. All of the above.

He missed some absolute cookies tonight. On the bright side, he looks less lost than Ortiz did two years ago and we all know how that turned out.

#71 fineyoungarm


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Posted 26 June 2012 - 09:29 PM

Kurkijan just now on BBTN - a "scout" told him he had followed Gonzalez for several games, recently, and his bat speed has simply disappeared. (I know, tell us something new.)

#72 CaptainLaddie


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Posted 26 June 2012 - 11:59 PM

I kind of wish they had DL'd Gonzalez and let Youks play first every day. AG comes off the DL, plays a few weeks -- if he looks right, you move Youkilis then. Now, you're stuck playing Gonz at 1st every day unless you want to run Ortiz out there and have some AAAA guy DH.

Edit: or Lars at 1st.

Edited by CaptainLaddie, 26 June 2012 - 11:59 PM.


#73 Manzivino

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Posted 27 June 2012 - 01:49 AM

Seems pretty clear to me that God didn't appreciate getting blamed for the September collapse.

In all seriousness, he's now .357/.419/.536 over the last 7 days with 2 2B, 1 HR and 3 BB; that's his second best week of the season after an 8 game .400/.486/.667 stretch from 5/7-5/14 (which coincidentally ended soon before the RF experiment began). I know we hear he's coming out of it every time he goes on a hot streak, but hopefully with interleague done and no RF debacle on the horizon he can sustain this and actually come out of it.

#74 fineyoungarm


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Posted 27 June 2012 - 06:14 AM

Seems pretty clear to me that God didn't appreciate getting blamed for the September collapse.

In all seriousness, he's now .357/.419/.536 over the last 7 days with 2 2B, 1 HR and 3 BB; that's his second best week of the season after an 8 game .400/.486/.667 stretch from 5/7-5/14 (which coincidentally ended soon before the RF experiment began). I know we hear he's coming out of it every time he goes on a hot streak, but hopefully with interleague done and no RF debacle on the horizon he can sustain this and actually come out of it.


Yeah - I have tried to ignore the recent improvements to avoid jinxing him. How's that for neurosis?

#75 reggiecleveland


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Posted 04 July 2012 - 01:34 AM

I hope he doesn't hurt his shoulder in the single hitting contest.

#76 NDame616


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Posted 04 July 2012 - 07:27 AM

Not that it's the power numbers we'd like and expect to see, but in his last 14 games, here are his numbers:

.328 BA
.355 OBP
.414 SLG
.769 OPS

Of course, his power is still not there, as in this stretch he's had 2 2B (which game in one game) and 1 HR

#77 Harry Hooper


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Posted 04 July 2012 - 09:07 AM

In the last 6 games he has the wonderfully flat line:

.346 BA
.346 OBP
.346 SLG
.692 OPS

Yep. no walks and 0 XBHs.

#78 reggiecleveland


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Posted 04 July 2012 - 12:53 PM

It has to be one of the least valuable 14 game hitting streaks ever.

#79 Al Zarilla


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Posted 04 July 2012 - 01:21 PM

It has to be one of the least valuable 14 game hitting streaks ever.

Among Marty Barrett, Spike Owen, Otis Nixon, Jody Reed, Darren Bragg, Darren Lewis, Jose Offerman, I'm sure there have been worse. Man am I lazy today.

#80 JMDurron

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Posted 04 July 2012 - 01:47 PM

Among Marty Barrett, Spike Owen, Otis Nixon, Jody Reed, Darren Bragg, Darren Lewis, Jose Offerman, I'm sure there have been worse. Man am I lazy today.


Using the very limited results that I can get without a b-ref subscription, there are a couple of rough equivalents.

Gonzalez - 14 games, 328/355/414 - 769 OPS

Jacoby Ellsbury - 22 games in May 2009 - 340/371/420 - 791 OPS
Jim Rice - 18 games from Sep 1988 into Apr 1989 - 320/321/467 - 787 OPS
Jerry Remy - 19 games in July-Aug 1978 - 325/364/434 - 797 OPS

I can only see the 10th-20th entries (sorted by length of streak) for any given search, but when the phrase "he can't slug like Remy did!" can be used, it's a bad sign.

#81 wade boggs chicken dinner


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Posted 14 July 2012 - 07:02 PM

Bradford with an interesting article on Adrian Gonzalez's struggles yesterday. Adrian Gonzalez sounds like a very self-aware athlete; perhaps too much. Here's a couple of bits:

"I'm considered a power hitter," Gonzalez told WEEI.com prior to the Red Sox' workout Thursday at Tropicana Field. "That's my job. Driving in runs is my No. 1 job, but I'm still considered a middle-of-the-order guy who is going to hit for power. The more I would try and find it, the worse it gets."


He's tried a heavier bat. He's tried a lighter bat. He's tried different stances. He's tried different approaches.


* * * *

"There are tweaks you try for a day or two that afterwards you're like, 'That's not going to work,' " he said. "There are things you do -- go to a tap, go to a leg kick, put your hands a little bit higher, put your hands a little bit lower, do this, do that. All those tweaks and this and that that I was trying, it might have felt good for a day and then it just went away and didn't feel right. it might have felt good in BP, but once the game started it didn't feel great. It's one of those things I wish I would have the power numbers to show for it up until this point. I got to the point where I have to just focus on singles and getting on base, and when the power numbers come, they come.

* * * *

"As the hitting streak went on I tried to just focus more and more on singles up the middle. Having that mentality of, 'I'm going to forget driving the ball, because that hasn't worked out.' Trying to find that feeling of driving the ball hasn't worked because I just keep getting myself into bad habits and bad habits," he explained. "The more I focus on just getting singles up the middle the better I feel. So my focus just kept going single up the middle, single up the middle, single up the middle, and that would into an occasional pitch I would hit with more authority. But I was just trying to get that single up the middle."



#82 Jnai


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Posted 14 July 2012 - 07:13 PM

His Career ISO:






His 2012 ISO:





Unclear if this is something that will "regress" toward his career norm or if this is a real change.

I mean, it's strange for a guy who's ALWAYS generated power in the strikezone to suddenly be unable to do it, right?

Edited by Jnai, 14 July 2012 - 07:17 PM.


#83 LogansDad


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Posted 15 July 2012 - 12:12 AM

It's strange to think that the things that made a lot of us so enamored of him last year (intelligence, thoughtfulness, etc.) may be what is holding him back this year, but it kind of makes sense to me that it would be harder for a guy like A-Gon to break out of a slump than a guy like, say, Jose Bautista (who seems to go up there thinki nothing but, "I'm going to crush the shit out of this next pitch").

I really hope Adrian is able to turn it around soon, both for the good of the team and for himself, because I really feel like this is tearing him up. It will be interesting to see if there is an abrupt end to the slump where he just starts mashing again, or if he slowly breaks out of it (in which case, the last couple weeks would be a good sign).

#84 Savin Hillbilly


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Posted 15 July 2012 - 08:14 AM

It's strange to think that the things that made a lot of us so enamored of him last year (intelligence, thoughtfulness, etc.) may be what is holding him back this year, but it kind of makes sense to me that it would be harder for a guy like A-Gon to break out of a slump than a guy like, say, Jose Bautista (who seems to go up there thinki nothing but, "I'm going to crush the shit out of this next pitch").


I realize your choice of a counterexample is not central to your point, but....have you ever read an interview or profile on Jose Bautista? He's a very intelligent guy.

Aside from that, I don't think overthinking is necessarily a sign of intelligence. It's just a personality trait. Some dim people overthink, and some smart people don't.

Not saying Adrian is a dummy, just that if he's overthinking at the plate, he's not doing it because he's a smart, thoughtful guy, he's doing it because he's one of those unfortunate people who overthink.

#85 LogansDad


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Posted 15 July 2012 - 10:16 AM

Yeah, I realize intelligence was probably the wrong choice of words, and I didn't mean to call Bautista dumb by any means....

What I was getting at was that I remember last year, early in the season, when that video was going around about him talking about his preparation, and how he studies pitchers through all the information available, and a lot of us were like, "OOOHH, this is the kind of guy I want here."

I wonder if maybe he needs to take it easy on that stuff and just go up there in more of a "reactionary" mode until he can break this slump.

#86 Lose Remerswaal


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Posted 16 July 2012 - 11:43 AM

It's getting worse.

They are discounting his Adrian Gonzalez Baseball Clinic by 50% on Groupon

Posted Image

#87 KiltedFool


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Posted 16 July 2012 - 12:37 PM

Yeah, I realize intelligence was probably the wrong choice of words, and I didn't mean to call Bautista dumb by any means....

What I was getting at was that I remember last year, early in the season, when that video was going around about him talking about his preparation, and how he studies pitchers through all the information available, and a lot of us were like, "OOOHH, this is the kind of guy I want here."

I wonder if maybe he needs to take it easy on that stuff and just go up there in more of a "reactionary" mode until he can break this slump.


John Kruk would have been a better comp from the past, more of a classic "see ball, hit ball" style hitter.

#88 OttoC


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Posted 16 July 2012 - 08:37 PM

Does everyone love Gonzalez again?

#89 bosox79

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Posted 16 July 2012 - 11:27 PM

The Hr was nice to see. i want to see a few more though. Not go another 10 games without one.

#90 Stitch01


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Posted 17 July 2012 - 05:22 PM

Hopefully he's good to go now, but another new and creative injury for the hometown team.

http://www.nesn.com/...oung-child.html

#91 gammoseditor


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Posted 17 July 2012 - 05:26 PM

I'd like to see a few walks too. The complete inability to walk all of a sudden is really strange.

#92 Lose Remerswaal


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Posted 18 July 2012 - 06:26 AM

Hopefully he's good to go now, but another new and creative injury for the hometown team.

http://www.nesn.com/...oung-child.html


That's dated 7/15, and explains why he missed time in Tampa Bay. He had already hit the big HR on Monday night 20 hours before you posted this, so pretty sure he's "good to go now"

#93 SoxScout


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Posted 18 July 2012 - 09:40 PM

I'd like to see a few walks too. The complete inability to walk all of a sudden is really strange.


Posted Image

Really hard to understand how this guy can go 24 games without a walk, then turn around and go 18 and counting...

#94 NDame616


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Posted 19 July 2012 - 06:45 AM

Saw this on twitter last night:

Brian MacPherson@brianmacp
Adrian Gonzalez since June 19, the last day he played right field: .404/.423/.553 (.976).

#95 JimBoSox9


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Posted 19 July 2012 - 09:59 AM

Saw this on twitter last night:

Brian MacPherson@brianmacp
Adrian Gonzalez since June 19, the last day he played right field: .404/.423/.553 (.976).


Of course, in the first three games after that, he was 3 for 12 with no XBH. Starting on 6/23 (THREE DAYS AFTER THE LAST DAY HE PLAYED RF!!!), he's .427/.434/.598 (1.031). Correlation doesn't equal causation, especially when you have to juke the dates a bit to find the correlation. I'm more interested in what happened after the game on 6/22.

#96 joe dokes

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Posted 19 July 2012 - 10:14 AM

Of course, in the first three games after that, he was 3 for 12 with no XBH. Starting on 6/23 (THREE DAYS AFTER THE LAST DAY HE PLAYED RF!!!), he's .427/.434/.598 (1.031). Correlation doesn't equal causation, especially when you have to juke the dates a bit to find the correlation. I'm more interested in what happened after the game on 6/22.


He went back to 1B and it took a couple of games to get it back together. It hardly seems like a coincidence that the guy didn't hit well when he was playing out of position. If I recall his two errors came nearer to the tail end of the experiment as well. As shown by his thinking out loud about his hitting, his level of self-consciousness/self-awreness (or whatever you want to call it) is pretty high. Seems like just the kind of player whose concern about defense might affect his hitting.

#97 Savin Hillbilly


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Posted 19 July 2012 - 10:19 AM

Of course, in the first three games after that, he was 3 for 12 with no XBH. Starting on 6/23 (THREE DAYS AFTER THE LAST DAY HE PLAYED RF!!!), he's .427/.434/.598 (1.031). Correlation doesn't equal causation, especially when you have to juke the dates a bit to find the correlation. I'm more interested in what happened after the game on 6/22.


Of course the ISO over that stretch is still well under his career standards. Mostly, he's just been having a BABIP spree (.432 from June 20 on). But this past couple of weeks it's looked like the power is finally catching up: 5 XBH in 31 PA since July 4, for a near-.300 ISO.

#98 JimBoSox9


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Posted 19 July 2012 - 11:37 AM

He went back to 1B and it took a couple of games to get it back together. It hardly seems like a coincidence that the guy didn't hit well when he was playing out of position. If I recall his two errors came nearer to the tail end of the experiment as well. As shown by his thinking out loud about his hitting, his level of self-consciousness/self-awreness (or whatever you want to call it) is pretty high. Seems like just the kind of player whose concern about defense might affect his hitting.


He didn't get a start in RF until May 19th, and prior to that date he was at .273/.347/.422/.769 (a.k.a the Jose Iglesias Upside Statline). That is, in fact, 130 OPS points better than he hit during the period when he was playing right, but still well below his norms. I'm certainly willing to believe playing RF was a factor, but the numbers before and after the experiment don't suggest a problem/fix paradigm the way the initial tweet suggests.

But this past couple of weeks it's looked like the power is finally catching up: 5 XBH in 31 PA since July 4, for a near-.300 ISO.


With two of those being oppo jacks in the past couple days against Chicago, at home on hot humid July evenings. Summer in Fenway is a beautiful thing. Would like to see him piss on one over the bullpens, or some bombs on the road, before I'll start feeling good about his power stroke.

Edited by JimBoSox9, 19 July 2012 - 11:40 AM.


#99 Red(s)HawksFan

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Posted 19 July 2012 - 11:54 AM

I'm more interested in what happened after the game on 6/22.

Perhaps, if we want to buy that shuffling between RF and 1B was a distraction, 6/22 was the day Bobby V came to him and said, we're not shuffling things around anymore...you are our 1B, period. Coincidentally or not, that was two days before the Youks trade and by that point, it was pretty obvious Valentine had made his decision as far as playing time distribution for WMB, Youks, and Gonzo.

#100 Smiling Joe Hesketh


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Posted 08 August 2012 - 02:20 PM

Since he stoped playing RF, Gonzo has put up a 386/417/548/965 line over the last 42 games. HR's aren't back yet (only 6), but the guy is raking otherwise. And he's got 2 more hits today.