There were no significant changes in his swing or approach. The simple act of playing every day at triple A seemed to cure what ailed Angels slugger C.J. Cron, who hit .315 (17 for 54) with four homers, 16 runs batted in and eight strikeouts in 13 games in his latest stint at Salt Lake before being recalled again on Monday.
“When you’re playing every day, you see the ball better, for sure, your timing seems to be a little more on,” said Cron, who will start at first base and bat seventh against New York Yankees left-hander C.C. Sabathia on Monday night.
“But that’s no excuse. I have a job to do up here, and whatever that is, I need to be better at it. That’s my mind-set coming in. That’s how I’m going to approach it.”
Cron, who showed considerable promise when he hit .256 with 11 homers and 37 RBIs in just 79 games in 2014, opened the season as the Angels’ regular designated hitter. But when his average dipped to .193 on May 12, he began to lose playing time.
By late May, Cron, 25, was spending so much time on the bench the Angels sent him to Salt Lake to get regular at-bats, recalling him for a week in early June and sending him back down on June 14.
If the right-handed-hitting Cron, a first-round pick in 2011, is to stick with the Angels this time, he must do a better job of adjusting to a part-time role or outperform left-handed-hitting Matt Joyce, who is batting just .183 and is not in the lineup Monday night.
“In the beginning of the season, he was getting plenty of at-bats, playing five days a week — he wasn’t sporadically playing once a week,” Manager Mike Scioscia said of Cron, who has a .204 average, one homer and six RBIs in 35 big league games this season.
“When that happened, he went down to get some work. There are some at-bats guys need to keep their edge, and it’s not necessarily seven days a week. We know what he can do when he’s swinging the bat well, and hopefully he can get in a groove and do that.”