Like most of the Cleveland Guardians offense, Oscar Gonzalez got off to an atrocious start this season.
Batting just .192, Gonzalez was demoted to Triple-A Columbus at the beginning of May to figure some things out, including the ability to take more pitches and be more selective at the plate.
There were some ups and downs in Columbus as well, but he was on a heater at the right time, getting the call back up to Cleveland around the trade deadline as roster spots became available.
And though it's a mighty small sample size, is it possible that Oscar Gonzalez is, indeed, back?
Since his triumphant return to the majors, Gonzalez is slashing .302/.345/.415 with four doubles, a triple, and three RBI. He's got three walks to 13 strikeouts in 58 plate appearances since his return, so it's essentially the Gonzalez we know and love from last year. He's also sporting a ridiculous .390 BABIP since his return, so nothing about this would scream stable, though it never hurts to be lucky when you're just trying to stick with a team.
Right now at least, right field is a complete dead zone for the Cleveland Guardians heading into next year. The team will no doubt be looking inside and outside (hopefully) the organization for help, so it's imperative for Gonzalez to play well down the stretch to put himself in the conversation.
He's still hitting ground balls, they're just finding holes right now, which they simply weren't doing at the beginning of the season (he was sporting a .228 BABIP before being sent down). If Gonzalez is able to increase his walk rate just a bit, he can begin to harness his size and power potential to be more of a threat.
No matter what happens to the Guardians' playoff hopes, Gonzalez will get regular playing time the rest of the year - let's see if he can take continue taking advantage of it.