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Terry Francona thinks neck problems may be sapping Adrian Gonzalez’s power

Aug 17, 2011, 2:14 PM EDT

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Adrian Gonzalez has hit just one homer in 140 plate appearances since the All-Star break and manager Terry Francona speculated today that a stiff neck may be to blame for the lack of power.

“I think he still feels it,” Francona told Joe McDonald of ESPN Boston. “It may have cut into his power a little bit, but he’ll play and will continue to play. If there were ever a chance we could give him a couple of days off, we’d probably do it, but it’s not the time to do it right now.”

Francona noted that most players are at less than 100 percent by this point in the season and, despite his lack of homers, Gonzalez has hit .331 with seven doubles in 30 games since the break. Overall this season Gonzalez leads the league with a .348 batting average and ranks third in on-base percentage, sixth in slugging percentage, and fourth in OPS.

  1. uyf1950 - Aug 17, 2011 at 2:18 PM

    Aaron, but the fact remains I remember at the time the Sox traded for him most if not all of the expects expected him to hit 50HR’s and have 150 RBI’s because of his new digs at Fenway Park. His current numbers are a far cry from that.

    • thefalcon123 - Aug 17, 2011 at 2:42 PM

      1. Experts expected him to have 150 RBIs? Who where they and what are they experts in, cause it’s sure not baseball. Perhaps experts said in an ideal world it is *possible*, but I don’t think anyone projected that.

      2. OPS+ in 2009: 162
      2010: 152
      2011: 157

      • Ari Collins - Aug 17, 2011 at 4:53 PM

        3. Best first baseman in the AL in WAR (behind only Votto in the majors). And OPS+ undervalues his OBP; by wRC+ he’s having the best year of his career.

  2. dirtyharry1971 - Aug 17, 2011 at 2:38 PM

    What they should do is have Ortiz make him one of those dominican milkshakes that Ortiz loves so much and look out this guy will be hitting HR’s like never before!

  3. icanspeel - Aug 17, 2011 at 2:45 PM

    Even if his power numbers are down he is having 1 hell of a year so far. Anyone wonder if the Home Run derby had anything to do with it?

    • Matt Aromando - Aug 17, 2011 at 3:33 PM

      He’s definitely having one hell of a year, but I doubt the Home Run Derby has anything to do with the slight HR drought.

      • spindervish - Aug 17, 2011 at 3:49 PM

        It’s more than slight. It’s actually kind of ridiculous how few fly balls the guy is hitting lately. Every game I’m able to catch it seems he’s rolling everything over on the ground to the right side.

      • Matt Aromando - Aug 17, 2011 at 4:29 PM

        140 plate appearances isn’t exactly a big sample size

      • spindervish - Aug 17, 2011 at 4:50 PM

        I believe he’s hit 3 homers in about his last 230 PAs. His ISO since July 1 is .107 if I’m not mistaken.

        I realize 230 PAs is still a small sample size, but you’re telling me you don’t find it damn near shocking that a known power hitter playing half his games in a small park would hit 3 homers in what amounts to a third of a season?

        Besides, like I said, the man doesn’t seem to even be hitting fly ball outs. I find it very curious.

      • Ari Collins - Aug 17, 2011 at 5:05 PM

        Not that it explains everything, but Fenway is actually below average for LHB HRs. David Ortiz, while only garnering one HR crown, actually led the league in road homers three years in a row (’04-’06).

  4. crispybasil - Aug 17, 2011 at 4:05 PM

    I also wonder about the off-season shoulder surgery, though Gonzalez has said it’s not bothering him.

  5. rcali - Aug 17, 2011 at 4:09 PM

    Gonzo turning into a banjo hitter is not what the Sox paid for. He needs to figure this out.

  6. marshmallowsnake - Aug 17, 2011 at 5:39 PM

    They are getting what they paid for. Great numbers and great defense. So what if the homers are down…still has many, many hits and RBI.

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