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Saturday Rockpile: The Numbers Behind Carlos Gonzalez's Slump

Scowls such as this on CarGo's face have been the norm so far in 2011.
Scowls such as this on CarGo's face have been the norm so far in 2011.

Rockies' CarGo confident he'll get back in groove - The Denver Post
Carlos Gonzalez continued his troublesome struggles last night by going 0-for-4 with a couple of K's. Apparently, he hasn't been himself since contracting the flu in Pittsburgh earlier this month, as he has quickly dropped 12 pounds, which obviously is resulting in a loss of strength and power.

However, illness isn't the only thing behind CarGo's slump; he's receiving a lot less pitches inside of the strike zone, and while he isn't offering at those as much as he did last year (around 30% in 2011 compared to 37% last year), he still just plain isn't getting anything to hit. The percentage of first pitch strikes that Gonzalez sees has reduced from 59% to 44%, and we all know that CarGo is an excellent first pitch (especially fastball) hitter. Speaking of fastballs, he's now getting them less than half of the time, as compared to 55% of the time last season.

It seems that pitchers have caught onto that and are just throwing him garbage, and it's obviously working as so far Gonzalez hasn't improved his walk rate from 2010, and is striking out at a slightly greater rate (SSS alert applies to all of this, by the way). He's also hitting groundballs at a career-high rate (55.4%), and you have to think that number will fall back in line with his career numbers (about 44%). As such, some of those will become flyballs, and some of those flyballs will become homers, etc.

He's just going to have to make some adjustments, because pitchers have obviously become comfortable with not offering him a whole lot of strikes (despite the fact that Troy Tulowitzki hits behind him). He's one of the few players on the team that would benefit from actually being more patient.

Rockies' Fowler shining on the road - The Denver Post
After going 1-for-2 with a couple of walks in last night's garbage-infested contest, Dexter Fowler raised his road OPS to .800 - far better than the .595 he posted last season.

Ian Stewart (Ian9Stewart) on Twitter
All it took was a demotion to the Springs for Ian Stewart to realize how much he missed Twitter. He's back, and always willing to interact with fans. Just be cool about it, people.