A lot of Kansas City Royals fans, including me, were ready to call it a career for Alex Gordon. After the last two years and start to this year, who wouldn’t? Well, apparently Gordon is that person who wouldn’t.
Earlier this year I wrote a piece about how Alex Gordon should consider surgery and fully recover, or potentially consider retirement.
After his start on April 8th, Gordon went on the Disabled List. He then returned 16 days later. Part of me felt this was too soon considering this was an injury that originally required him to have surgery and forced a much younger Gordon to miss three months in 2009.
However, thinking back to it, this might have been the perfect move. I’m beginning to think that his hip really was not as bad as the team made it seem. Perhaps they said this so that he could get away from the game for a bit and restart his year.
The start of the year had a lot of negatives for Gordon. With the passing of his father and another rough Spring Training, maybe he just needed time to go back to Omaha and be with family. He could stay in Omaha, be with family, and get some reps with the Storm Chasers before returning to Kansas City Royals.
We have been talking about Gordon having an “injury” so he could go get some reps in Omaha to figure out his swing, and potentially reset mentally, and I think that is exactly what the Royals did.
The return of Gordon?
Before heading to the DL, Gordon was slashing a recent norm of .174/.208/.217 and a .426 OPS. Of his four hits, only one was an extra-base hit and that double game in the first game of the year. Over the next six games, Gordon only recorded three singles.
It does not take a baseball expert to know that this is not good and not a start to 2018 that we all wanted Gordon to have.
Since coming back from injury, he is a different player at the plate though. Since returning, he has slashed an impressive .340/.389/.500 and a .889 OPS over the last 13 games. During that time he has recorded his two home runs on the season as well.
All of this leads to a much more appealing season slash for Gordon as well. Looking at a .288/.333/.411 slash he has over the first 20 games of his 2018 campaign is much easier to see than his typical .180-.200 average he’s been giving since signing his franchise record contract.
Seeing what Gordon has done since coming back is encouraging. He is showing more confidence at the plate, and his new adjustments at the plate with his stance and the new placement of the bat in his stance is showing to be a successful modification. If he can continue this, perhaps he can prove all of us wrong in our original thoughts on him post contract extension, including me.
I know his .340 average will temper and he will have some off games, but it does not look like he is struggling to make contact or keep up with the pitches anymore. The veteran modifications he has made to his swing seem to be working right now and he seems to be a different player mentally.
His recent success makes me extremely happy as well because Gordon has been such a vital role in the Royals success since 2011 and he is one of the best Royals players in franchise history. Gordon is a clear-cut Royals Hall of Famer, and one day we could see a statue of Gordon as he’s rounding first in the 2015 World Series after the game-tying home run in the 9th inning.
You can’t help but breathe a sigh of relief and be happy for Gordon right now.
So what do you think Royals fans? Are you encouraged by the revitalization of Alex Gordon? Do you have some hope that he can turn his career around for the next two years? Let us know below!