Jedd Gyorko may be getting over his early sophomore slump.
Gyorko, the one-time Mountaineer slugger, has struggled to say the least as the 2014 MLB season has gotten in full swing. But after a few bad games and a change in the batting order, Gyorko finally got the elusive first home run of the season out-of-the-way Sunday as his San Diego Padres took two of three games from the Detroit Tigers.
At the beginning of the season, Gyorko was entrenched in the four or five-spot depending on the day. With a bat like Carlos Quentin out of the lineup and the face of the franchise, Chase Headley, struggling at the plate, Gyorko was expected to be the guy to lead the way.
That’s a lot of pressure on a sophomore player in a below-average lineup.
Gyorko began the season hitting an abysmal .153 with just six hits in 39 at-bats with 14 strikeouts.
One could say his head is somewhere else, with twins on the way. But I would say the Padres have already thrust him into the role of a provider and other teams have figured it out, not giving him pitches and making him chase.
Gyorko himself has admitted that he needed to be more patient after last season saw him strikeout 123 times to just 33 walks. This season, he’s already walked four times but has tallied 16 Ks while hitting just .163 with one home run and, despite the slow start, a team-leading seven RBI.
But now, Gyorko has been moved back up into the fourth spot after hitting in the sixth and seventh spot and is seeing more pitches.
The second baseman now has a hit and an RBI in each of his last three games. After hitting .286 in the six and seven holes as compared to a .074 average in the four and five spots, Gyorko hit cleanup on Sunday and hit his first home run of the season.
Now, as he makes his way back up to a more prominent spot in the order, the Padres are hoping he can use that 406-foot solo shot to start getting on base and driving more runs in.