Through the team’s first 66 games, Gonzalez has bounced between the third, fourth, fifth and sixth spots in the order, often depending on the opposing pitcher.
While he’s spent the majority of the year — and his career — batting third or fourth, his numbers lower in the order could suggest that Bobby Valentine is onto something by dropping him down.
He’s batting just .247 on the year when hitting third or fourth in the order, while he’s going along at a much better .370 clip when hitting fifth or sixth. Granted, it’s a smaller sample size for the later at-bats, but the slump that Gonzalez has been in all year might merit a change of scenery.
Then again, more consistency might be the key to finding Gonzo’s groove and the comfort level of staying in the third or fourth spots might be worth a try — even if the power numbers aren’t exactly what you could expect from a middle-of-the-lineup slugger.
So far this year, Gonzalez has been far underperforming his career averages but has shown flashes of returning to his previous All-Star form. Do you think a new home for him in the batting order could help break him out of his slump?