Before coming to the Red Sox last season, Adrian Gonzalez was a superstar with the Padres. Now that he is with the Red Sox the first baseman has quietly gone about his business, putting up even better numbers than when he was in San Diego. Boston fans still have yet to warm up to Gonzalez, however, claiming he hasn’t been a clutch player.
Gonzalez started out slow this season, but his play has picked up as of late. Some of this can be attributed to the departure of Kevin Youkilis as when he and Will Middlebrooks were sharing time at third base it forced other players to new, uncomfortable positions.
One of those less fortunate was Gonzalez, who was forced to play 18 games in right field. Since Youkilis was traded away on June 24 and Gonzalez has been back to his natural position of first base, he has been much improved his play at the plate.
Going into Wednesday’s game against Detroit, Gonzalez is hitting .369 with four home runs and 25 RBIs since June 24. In the 31 games, Gonzalez has recorded hits in 25 of them including 15 multi-hit outings.
This season Gonzalez has also quietly proven fans wrong with their claim that he is not a clutch player.
He leads all of MLB in batting average with runners in scoring position and going into play Wednesday he was hitting .414.He also leads the Red Sox in game-winning RBIs with nine, and go-ahead RBIs with 16. Both are tied for ninth in the American League.
While the home runs may be down for Gonzalez, he still has produced and been one of the Red Sox’ most consistent hitters this season.
With the numbers that he has put up this season, what more can he do before fans finally embrace the left-handed slugger?
Always loud on the injured front
It seems a day has not gone by this season without a new injury, or an injury update involving a player coming from Bobby Valentine’s pregame press conferences.
Valentine announced that Daniel Nava had been placed on the 15-day disabled list Wednesday with sore wrists. In turn, catcher Ryan Lavarnway was called up from Pawtucket.
Valentine also gave an update on Josh Beckett, who left Tuesday’s start after just 2 2/3 innings with a back spasm.
“He said he is a little stiff, not surprisingly,” Valentine said. “We don’t know how to read that, but it doesn’t seem like it will be a 15-day stint or anything.”
Beckett’s bullpen session either Thursday or Friday will determine whether or not he makes his scheduled start Sunday. Franklin Morales would be the player to fill in if Beckett cannot go.
David Ortiz, who was available to be activated from the disabled list on Wednesday, is getting closer to a return.
“Yesterday’s batting practice went great, but he is still a little hesitant to run, or jump or move quickly,” Valentine said. “He said today was the first day he woke up and there was no pain.”