Forget about the Rockies beating the Padres Monday night. Forget about Clayton Mortensen winning the Clash of the Claytons over San Diego’s Clayton Richard, and forget about the highly anticipated MLB debut of relief pitcher Rex Brothers. The real story line of the game was Carlos Gonzalez and his hitting slump.
Gonzalez was everywhere he shouldn’t be. He was batting lead-off instead of being in the three-hole. He was starting in center field instead of his usual spot in left, and he was notably absent — again — from the hit column.
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The last week he has had 22 ABs which have produced damn near nothing to be happy about. Those ABs have led to only three hits, one RBI and a terrible .106 batting average. He owns a .249 average so far this season, which isn’t bad, but that’s mostly attributed to his .282 in May. Now, he is back in the slump all over again. Like the end of the last one never happened.
His frustrations with himself are evident because you can see he wants it and knows the expectations of him are that he has to get those hits he is missing. The problem is his frustrations may be getting the better of him because he knows he is one of the “stars” of the team. Between him and Troy Tulowitzki, they are supposed to be young guns.
Tulowitzki is doing better than Gonzalez, but still isn’t out of the doghouse either. Gonzalez is chained to said doghouse and hasn’t been able to get out of it. I put quite a bit of blame on him for the Rockies not having more wins, but not because of his contract. Scott Hastings of the local sports station, 104.3 The Fan, echoed my sentiments as well. It’s on the entire team to produce, not just Gonzalez because he is paid more than almost everyone else. He has to produce because of what he is supposed to be to the Rockies, one of their “stars,” not because he is paid more.
The rest of the team needs to pick it up as well and not just rely on Todd Helton, Tulowitzki and Gonzalez. The issue is that Helton and Tulowitzki are producing their fair share; Gonzalez is still lost in his returning slump.