Last night, the Mets continued to shine and picked up another win as they defeated the Miami Marlins. While Adrian Gonzalez wasn’t in the starting lineup, he came off the bench and hit a two-run double to give the Mets a lead of 2-1 in the eighth inning.
It’s surprising that he’s doing well at the plate. Coming off an abysmal showing in Port St. Lucie this spring, in which he wasn’t seeing the ball well in Grapefruit League action, it seems that all he needed was to step into a batter’s box at a major league ballpark. In 32 plate appearances, he’s hitting .296/.406/.444 with one home run and a 147 wRC+. If he continues at his current pace, he’ll be able to surpass his pre-season projections.
Last season wasn’t so great for Gonzalez. He appeared in 71 games for the Los Angeles Dodgers and he hit .242/.287/.355. He had a significant back injury which kept him out of the lineup for more than half of the season. With Gonzalez out of the lineup, the Dodgers went to their farm system and called Cody Bellinger up to the majors, and he was outstanding in Los Angeles. When Gonzalez came back from injury, his starting spot in the lineup was gone.
Per a report from Mike Puma of The New York Post, to avoid further back issues this season, Gonzalez changed his conditioning strategies. Gonzalez mentioned that he changed his workout strategy to incorporate more stretching exercises than body-building exercises. Hopefully less lifting in the weight room will translate into a healthier year.
If Gonzalez can remain healthy, he could potentially have bounce-back season in Flushing. This weekend, he’ll face the Milwaukee Brewers at Citi Field. He’ll look to continue his success against Brewers’ probables: Zach Davies, Chase Anderson, and Jhoulys Chacin. Over the course of his career, he’s done fairly well against all three. In particular, he done extremely well against Anderson. In 18 at-bats, he’s hitting .500/.609/.778 with two doubles, a home run, and one strikeout.