Red Sox Spring Training: Marwin Gonzalez homers from both sides of the plate
Switch-hitter Marwin Gonzalez hit a pair of home runs for the Red Sox
Marwin Gonzalez‘s versatility isn’t limited to the many positions he plays on the field, he also brings it to the plate. The switch-hitting utility man showed he can produce from either side of the plate while leading the Boston Red Sox to victory in a spring training game against the Minnesota Twins.
Gonzalez put Boston on the board with a solo shot with one out in the first inning, belting a hanging slider from right-hander Matt Shoemaker 406-feet to deep right field.
The Red Sox put some traffic on the bases ahead of Gonzalez’s turn in the fifth inning. With two on and two out, Gonzalez connected on a high fastball from Devin Smeltzer. His pull-heavy approach was on display again but since he was batting from the other side of the plate against a lefty, the ball flew out to left field this time.
Those would be his only trips to the plate this afternoon with Jonathan Arauz replacing him at second base in the bottom of the inning. His 2-for-2, two homer day raised his stellar spring batting line to .375/.412/.813.
A switch-hitter tallying home runs from both sides of the plate in the same game is a rarity for the Red Sox but it’s typically memorable when it happens. The last time it was done by a Red Sox hitter was by Victor Martinez on May 17, 2010 at Yankee Stadium.
Former Red Sox third baseman Bill Mueller made history when he blasted three home runs in a game against the Texas Rangers on July 29, 2003. Two of them came with the bases loaded, making Mueller the first player in major league history to hit a grand slam from each side of the plate in the same game.
Marwin’s multi-homer game won’t live on with the same infamy since this was only an exhibition game but it will certainly get fans excited about what his bat can bring to this lineup.
Gonzalez will provide manager Alex Cora with tremendous flexibility when filling out his lineup. Not only can he put him almost anywhere on the field but it won’t matter if the opposing team is sending a right-handed pitcher to the mound or a southpaw.
His career splits are nearly identical. Gonzalez is a career .261/.321/.411 hitter against right-handers compared to .261/.307/.416 against lefties.
70 of his 96 career home runs have come against a right-hander but that’s to be expected since he has more than twice as many plate appearances against them. When you break it down, Gonzalez has hit a home run in 3.2% of his at-bats against right-handers compared to 2.9% of his at-bats against lefties.
He’s about equally dangerous from either side of the plate and Red Sox fans got a taste of the damage he can do as he led his team to victory. If he can do that in a regular season game that actually counts, Gonzalez is going to become a popular player in Boston.