Coming into the 2014 season, it looked to be a promising one for Padres’ second baseman Jedd Gyorko. Following a solid rookie campaign in 2o13 where he batted .249 with 23 home runs and 66 RBI despite missing the month of June with a groin injury.
As a result of his play, the organization rewarded the Padres’ slugger with a contract extension worth $35 million that would keep him in San Diego for the next five years. Along with Yonder Alonso, his bat was expected to solidify the middle of the order for the next several years. Alongside shortstop Everth Cabrera, they were expected to make up one of the best tandems in the NL West.
However, this season has been nothing short of a disaster for the 25-year old infielder. Gyorko has suffered tremendously from the dreaded sophomore slump. Currently, he is batting a horrific .164 with five homers and 24 RBI.
In addition, he has been plagued with injuries and has missed the last couple of months with plantar fasciitis, a foot and ankle injury commonly seen in athletes.
With all the problems Gyorko’s seen with his swing this season, the Padres’ need to have him work them out down in the minors. Major League pitchers have constantly thrown him a heavy dose of breaking balls, especially right-handers. As a result, he is getting beat by the fastball and looking foolish on pitches away.
At times, Gyorko’s swing on breaking pitches resembles that of Pedro Serrano from the movie Major League. In almost nearly every at-bat, his shoulder is flying out resulting in him swinging and missing on pitches out of the strike zone or hitting a weak ground ball to short or third.
Before he was activated on Monday, Gyorko was crushing the ball down in Triple-A El Paso, so why not leave him down there until September?
If one looks closer, Gyorko’s struggles at the plate actually began after his DL stint last season. Prior to hurting his groin in 2013, Gyorko was batting .284 but saw his average drop 35 points when he came back. What makes things different this time around?
Granted, the Padres are playing for next season with most of offense struggling, so it does give him the opportunity to work on his mechanics against big league pitching. However, hitting is about confidence, and at the moment, Gyorko is lacking that confidence.
Why not allow him to work on his mechanics down in the minors and gain back his confidence that he had prior to this season? Gyorko is only 25-years old, and there is so much upside because Padres’ fan got a taste of it last season. In addition, he is locked up for the next five years, so the team needs to ensure that he is the player that they paid for when they gave him the extension.
The Padres also have one of the best farm systems in baseball. By Gyorko spending some time in the minors, it gives a player like Jonathan Galvez a shot to prove himself. Eventually, the Padres’ will make a decision on a new general manager, so bringing up Galvez gives, whoever it is, a chance to gauge what the team has going into season with a healthy and confident Jedd Gyorko and better evaluation of their talent below.