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Adrian Gonzalez is not going to get his power stroke back

May 6, 2013, 9:13 AM EDT

adrian gonzalez reuters Reuters

Like, the literal stroke or swing he had before. He told Bill Shaikin yesterday about the adjustments he’s had to make since hurting his shoulder at the end of 2010 and how his efforts to go back to that old uppercut swing have not paid off for him:

“Last year, I tried to go back to the swing I had before I got hurt,” he said. “I tried it for the whole first half, with horrible results” … He said he is most effective now with a flatter swing that generates more line drives, rather than an upward swing that produces more power.

We’ll call it a reverse Palmiero, I suppose.  And for what it’s worth, if he can keep his average up over .300 and hit doubles at the clip he’s hit them at these past couple of years, it’s totally doable. Even if it’s not what Boston and L.A. thought they were getting when they acquired him.

  1. Jack Marshall - May 6, 2013 at 9:21 AM

    “….and even if it’s not even close to worth the 25 million + he is being paid substantially because of that power stroke.” So instead of getting Ted Williams, what the Red Sox and Dodgers ended up paying gazillions for is a better version of John Olerud.

    How nice for Adrian. Well, it’s all God’s will!

    Bitter? Me? Nah! “Best-Trade-Ever!”

    • baseballicious - May 6, 2013 at 10:09 AM

      “what the Red Sox and Dodgers ended up paying gazillions for is a better version of John Olerud” – Correction, what the Dodgers are paying for.

    • 18thstreet - May 6, 2013 at 10:14 AM

      Gonzalez and I have different faith traditions, but I think his “G-d’s will” comments have been misunderstood. You have to start from the perspective that everything — everything! — that happens is G-d’s will, according to Gonzalez and millions of others. (FYI, Gonzalez’s September 2011 OPS was .978. The Red Sox’ failure was almost entirely due to starting pitching.)

      I don’t believe this is an excuse for 2011’s collapse. I believe it’s how he and millions of others cope with the bad things that happen to all of us. I have my own opinions on whether this makes sense. But it’s not a unique belief.

      • Jack Marshall - May 6, 2013 at 5:44 PM

        That’s a facile analysis. Bard, for one, was pitching to an ERA of about 8. The collapse started before September, and A-Gon had a big fall-off in the second half. .978’s not bad, but it’s not superstar good either, and that’s what he was paid to be.

        The fact is none of the big bats stepped up to win, and Crawford and Gonzalez were hired to do just that. If Yaz had a 978 OPS in September of 1967 and the Sox finished 3rd, you could have blamed that fade on the starting pitching too. And if Yaz had said, “Well, God took away Tony C., and it just wasn’t meant to be,” I would have thrown up….just like i did when Gonzalez let himself and the team of the hook.

      • 18thstreet - May 7, 2013 at 7:24 AM

        Here.

        http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/split.cgi?id=gonzaad01&year=2011&t=b

        Tell me again about how he fell off in the second half.

      • 18thstreet - May 7, 2013 at 7:28 AM

        Incidentally, and with all due respect, if you think an OPS of .978 is merely “not bad,” you really don’t know what the stat means. (For example: his season-long OPS was 40 points LOWER, which was the third-best in the American League.)

    • ras1tafari - May 6, 2013 at 12:07 PM

      “god wants me to hit line drives”

    • bolweevils2 - May 6, 2013 at 2:57 PM

      A better version of John Olerud, who, in his age 30 season (the age Gonzalez is now) put up a .890 OPS with the Mets? Sounds good to me. At Gonzalez’ 40 homer peak he had a .958 OPS, not all that much better. He once had a 36 homer season with only an .871 OPS, 28 points below what he’s doing now.

      Sounds to me as if Gonzalez is still pretty much as effective as you’d expect him to be even if he was still hitting homers. He’s just doing it a different way.

      (In fairness, in offensive WAR he’s on a pace about a about 1.6 wins below his 40 homer season. But this year would still be his 4th best OWar year if you extrapolate it out to the 162 games that he won’t play this year.)

    • danfrommv - May 6, 2013 at 4:24 PM

      He beats the heck out of James Loney, though

      • thebadguyswon - May 6, 2013 at 5:04 PM

        He does, lack of power or not. Much better than Loney.

  2. j0esixpack - May 6, 2013 at 9:30 AM

    AGoz is still a good player. No where near worth what the Sox payed – and what the Dodgers took over.

    But since the Dodgers did the Sox a HUGE favor by taking about a billion of payroll – most of which was dead wood, I’m actually rooting for them to get at least partial value from Gonzales, and I think they will.

    • faulkner22 - May 6, 2013 at 10:01 AM

      Magic Johnson made himself more popular than Larry Bird in Boston because of the deal.

      • danfrommv - May 6, 2013 at 4:27 PM

        Magic was a very popular face of the Dodgers, and then it came out that Frank McCourt was still lurking in the ownership (parking lots, surrounding land), and the new Dodger ownership basically lied in telling everyone that Frank McCourt was out of the picture.

  3. skeleteeth - May 6, 2013 at 9:43 AM

    What’s his deal now, with the neck? I could have sworn I read somewhere he hurt it bumping into an umpire. Is that for real?

    • gloccamorra - May 6, 2013 at 10:01 AM

      He sure didn’t hurt it protecting Greinke. I guess the neck injury will take away the line drive doubles, and he’ll be a $21 million singles hitter.

      • tmhofficial - May 6, 2013 at 1:26 PM

        Better than my favorite team’s $23 million Singles hitter. (Joe Mauer)

  4. gloccamorra - May 6, 2013 at 9:59 AM

    Most guys who sign multi-year contracts at least earn the money the first few years, THEN they’re albatross contracts. Adrian is blazing a new trail.

    You have to question the Red Sox for not picking up on the shoulder problem before trading for him. They didn’t pay much, since the minor league outfielder is still in AA, and Kelly just had Tommy John surgery. The Padres flipped Rizzo for Cashner, who’s in the Padres rotation now.

    The Red sox didn’t pay much, since he played the only full year in Boston for $6.3 million. They’re paying $3.9/year from 2012-14 and the Dodgers are paying the rest, so they got 42 homers and 203 RBI in 282 games for only $18 million. Plus the Dodgers gave them their best two pitching prospects. They ought to be on TV, playing “Flip This Slugger”.

    • paperlions - May 6, 2013 at 1:45 PM

      You mean like Pujols, Hamilton, Howard, Cain, Crawford, Teixeira, and Hampton? (just off the top of my head)

    • dentals1 - May 6, 2013 at 4:05 PM

      Question the Red Sox? All trades are subject to the players passing physicals. Would hope the Dodgers did their due diligence medically before they accepted that trade with all that $.

  5. aceshigh11 - May 6, 2013 at 10:09 AM

    The destruction of Adrian Gonzalez’s shoulder was the inerrant will of God.

    So shall it be written, so shall it be done.

    • danfrommv - May 6, 2013 at 4:28 PM

      If you believe it is God’s will for every minute detail, then you would have to agree with this comment

  6. BigBeachBall - May 6, 2013 at 10:09 AM

    Padres…

  7. hisgirlgotburrelled - May 6, 2013 at 11:26 AM

    With a HR/FB this year of just 8.6% and a FB% of 38.9% he *should* hit more HR’s than his current pace of about 18. His LD% is over 25% and his BABIP is not much higher than career averages, so he’s hitting really well right now, as if you could’t tell by the .337 BA. His current pace of hitting about 18 HR’s, I think, is too low. He could still hit 25 or more if that HR/FB goes up like it should. Maybe they thought they’d get a 35+ HR guy, but who cares? His best season was 2011 with 27 HR’s. His numbers right now look like he could be near that again… And that’s a lot better than a couple sluggers I could name right now getting paid more and doing so much less.

  8. Caught Looking - May 6, 2013 at 11:50 AM

    Interesting that he now says it’s his swing when late last season after the trade to LA, he was blaming the Monster for taking away his power stroke:

    “What took my power away was the Green Monster. I used to hit line drives and they would be doubles. That took away five home runs from me last year.”

    • Jack Marshall - May 6, 2013 at 5:47 PM

      Thank you. He was supposed to be a “character guy” and has revealed himself as an ass.

  9. scoocha - May 6, 2013 at 11:58 AM

    I think his power loss has more to do with facing AL pitching than anything else. I can see him regaining his power in the NL. I can say that I was shocked that he wasn’t aided that much by the Fenway Effect in 2011 and 2012.

  10. turdfurgerson68 - May 6, 2013 at 2:18 PM

    Ben Cherington = GM of the decade…no contest.

    Regardless of how well Gonzalez, Crawford, and Beckett do (and I wish them well), just the fact that he was able to unload their awful contracts is simply astounding.

    • 18thstreet - May 6, 2013 at 3:37 PM

      I imagine that there were 28 other GMs who were shocked to see the Dodgers were willing to take on those contracts and thought, “If I had only known the Dodgers were that stupid!”

      • danfrommv - May 6, 2013 at 4:33 PM

        The Dodgers clearly don’t mind a huge payroll. As long as the players are even marginally successful, the Dodgers will get a huge marketing boost. At least they seem to be interested in competing, unlike the Frank McCourt Dodgers.

    • Jack Marshall - May 6, 2013 at 5:50 PM

      All he did was realize..”Hey! We got the Dodgers to take Manny!”

  11. mundial8 - May 6, 2013 at 3:56 PM

    Adrian should start looking for Jobo… Fuck, it worked for Cerrano

  12. doc - May 14, 2013 at 2:00 AM

    “.978′s not bad, but it’s not superstar good either, and that’s what he was paid to be.”

    Huh? Earth to Jack Marshall…

    Only one active player (and just 10 hitters all time) have a career OPS higher than .978, Albert Pujols.

  13. doc - May 14, 2013 at 2:01 AM

    has

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