Coming off an 0-for-9 series against the Colorado Rockies as part of a month-long slump, Adrian Gonzalez wasn’t in the Los Angeles Dodgers lineup Monday. Though it came as a scheduled day off, an added reason to Gonzalez being held out of the lineup is the Cincinnati Reds sent left-hander Tony Cingrani to the mound.
Gonzalez is hitting a lowly .164 against left-handers, which is well off his career mark of .274. Earlier this season, the Dodger first baseman dismissed the notion of stats and said he placed little importance on them.
According to Bill Plunkett of the OC Register, Gonzalez was more forthcoming when discussing his latest struggles:
It is the longest slump of Gonzalez’s career and he acknowledges it has been a struggle at times. But he also shuns talk of a slump, saying instead that “obviously the results haven’t been there” and that he felt “just a tick off” for most of that time.
Manager Don Mattingly cited Gonzalez’s ability to stick to his routine as reason he would break out of the slump:
Adrian’s a professional. His routine stays the same to me. His work stays the same. His preparation always stays the same. He doesn’t get off track and to me those are the guys you know are going to come out of it and they’ll be right back where they ought to be.”
However, hitting coach Mark McGwire was more critical when assessing the first baseman’s performance:
He’s going out of the strike zone,” Dodgers hitting coach Mark McGwire said. “He’s one of the smartest hitters I’ve been around and right now, he’s just going out of the strike zone too much.”
McGwire also added Gonzalez need to be more patient and willing to take a walk, which was a sentiment the team instilled in Yasiel Puig, who appears to have responded. Gonzalez got off to a bit of a slow start this season before a stretch of hitting a home run in four consecutive games propelled him into a hot streak that carried through April.
Gonzalez attributed the power surge to his shoulder feeling healthy and thus getting more range on his swings. The Dodgers have yet to fire on all cylinders and as important as Hanley Ramirez getting going is, so too is Gonzalez returning to the hitter he’s capable of being.
Andre Ethier Visits Nightingale Middle School