Colorado Rockies: Bud Black on C.J. Cron’s second-half slump

With 17 home runs and 60 RBI heading into the All-Star Game, it was little surprise that Colorado Rockies first baseman C.J. Cron was chosen to represent the franchise at the Midsummer Classic.

However, since the All-Star Game, Cron has been mired in a deep funk, leveling down the danger level for one of the top offensive weapons for the Colorado Rockies in 2022.

Posting a .298/.350/.552 slash line through the first 90 games of the season, Cron has plummeted since his trip to Chavez Ravine to be a part of the National League squad. He was out of the starting lineup for Saturday’s home game against the San Francisco Giants after slashing .171/.230/.295 in his last 26 games. That included a 3-for-36 stretch in his first nine contests after the All-Star Game.

Colorado manager Bud Black thinks part of the reason for Cron’s second-half struggles go back to how much he carried the team in the first half of the season, pacing the Rockies in most offensive categories.

“I think he’s put a lot of pressure on himself,” Black said. “Collectively, we all know that he’s in the heart of our order. He’s carried us a lot. He made the All-Star team based on his performance. I think he’s really, probably to a fault, placed too much pressure on himself. I think, this month with some players, fatigue is setting in with the swing. When you get a little tired, your swing changes a little bit.”

Black also believes that “the league is pitching him much tougher,” leading to some adjustments that will need to be made by the 32-year-old Cron, who was signed to a two-year, $14.5 million extension in October.

“When you walk that fine line as a hitter, knowing that he’s a cleanup hitter and knows he has to do his thing to help the team, homers and doubles, and a lot of times the other pitchers don’t let you,” Black said.

With a 10-game road trip coming up that will take the Rockies to face the New York Mets, Atlanta Braves, and Cincinnati Reds, Colorado needs Cron to rediscover his swing as one of the tougher stretches of the 2022 schedule approaches.