He’s had exactly 40 at-bats since then, and he’s hit exactly .300, but a pair of doubles have been his only extra-base hits. Tonight he very nearly went deep with a fly ball to the warning track, but it’s clear that Rodriguez’s power has been absent for the much of the season.
“I’ve been working my tail off with Kevin Long and I think we’re in a good place now,” Rodriguez said. “One of the things I’m working on is to improve the ratio of ground balls to fly balls. I’ve been putting the ball on the ground a little bit too much, and the last two or three days have been much better, so I’m very encouraged.”
Throughout his career, Rodriguez has had a nearly even ground-to-fly ratio. Last year, it was 1.31 grounders for every fly ball. This year he’s had 2.23 ground balls for every fly ball, and that’s the ratio he’d like to fix. His ground ball rate has been increasing gradually the past few seasons, but this would be an extreme jump.
Speaking of extreme…
“Extremely confident,” Rodriguez said. “I’m in a good place, and the body feels good. I’m working very, very hard every day with Kevin Long. My numbers are going to be there at the end of the year, there’s no doubt about it. The thing is, we’ve got to put it to work right away because our team needs victories. Our offense and coaches expect a lot from me, and I’ll be there.”
Associated Press photo