Slumping center fielder Dexter Fowler probably would have been sent down by the Rockies last week if not for a strained abdominal muscle that put him on the disabled list instead, but he doesn’t believe that quitting switch-hitting will give his flailing career a boost.
The 25-year-old Fowler, in his third full season with the Rockies, is a natural right-handed hitter. In his career, he’s hit .282/.369/.414 as a righty and .243/.339/.380 hitter as a lefty.
MLB.com’s Thomas Harding reported that Jim Tracy is on board with Fowler as a switch-hitter for now, but believes a change might be inevitable if Fowler’s numbers continue to go south. Fowler posted a .770 OPS as a rookie last year and a .757 mark last season, but he’s down to .688 at the moment.
Fowler has also been a disaster away from Coors Field in his career, with an OPS nearly 200 points lower on the road. He’s hit .225/.313/.333 in 172 career away games.
The Rockies opted to move Carlos Gonzalez back to center field when Fowler landed on the DL, and expectations are that Fowler is in for a lengthy rehab assignment before he makes it back to Denver. If Fowler doesn’t excel at Triple-A, he’ll probably be optioned to the minors for a spell.
Yankees shortstop Didi Gregorius had another fantastic night last night. He went 3-for-3, hitting a home run for the fourth game in a row, had an RBI single and reached base safely in all five of his plate appearances in New York’s 7-4 win over Minnesota.
For the year that gives Gregorius a line of .372/.470/.833, putting him atop the American League in average, slugging, OPS, and OPS+. He also leads the league in total bases (65) and RBI (29). He leads all of baseball in fWAR at 2.2, edging out Mike Trout despite the fact that Trout has played in two more games. He’s second behind Trout in homers with nine.
After last night’s game he insisted that he is not a home run hitter:
“I do have a lot of home runs, but it’s not like I am going out there to try to hit them . . . I’m not a power guy like Judge and Stanton, who hit 50 to 60 and up. Those are the guys who actually hit home runs. One year, let’s say, I hit five — then you ask me where that part went . . . if they go out, they go out. I’m just mostly trying to barrel it up and get a good swing . . . I try to hit line drives and if you check most of my home runs they were line drives,” he said. “It’s not like I am going up to hit deep fly balls.”
Given that he hit 25 homers last year and 20 the year before, he’s being a bit modest, even if he’s not likely to keep up this torrid pace. That modesty is not stopping some people from getting a bit carried away, of course:
We’ll forgive Bob for the hyperbole. Didi has been fun to watch.