It's no secret to Mets fans that Pete Alonso hasn't had the best of starts to the second half. And, of course, the natural reaction for many is to say it's the "Home Run Derby slump."
Now while some do believe that to be the case with players that participate in the All-Star weekend event, manager Mickey Callaway isn't one. Instead he thinks his star rookie is simply going through a rough patch.
"I don't think there's been a ton of evidence that that's ever hurt anybody. I think right now it's just a rough patch where he's trying to work out of."
But, if it's not the Derby, then what is going on with Alonso? Well simply playing in the Derby and being an All-Star could be a contributing factor. Callaway knows how "draining" it can be to have the commitments on and off the field that weekend -- one that many in the league gets off unless they get the honor to play in the game.
Being that it's Alonso's first experience with that, Callaway doesn't think it's too outlandish to say not having a break hurt him a bit.
"I think there's something to that. That could be a possibility," he said. "I think that if you go and look at All-Stars -- and we've looked into this information in the past -- if you go look at All-Stars, their numbers decline more than the rest of the league because their numbers were so high and that's why they made the All-Star team. So there's no secret there.
"But [not] having those four days off that everybody else gets, and it's an exciting time, it's draining, there's a lot of external things going on when you're there. It's not a four-day vacation and break that everybody else gets."
Lately, Alonso has been swinging early in counts while also chasing more pitches out of the strike zone. And as luck would have it, he's also hitting the ball right at defenders, which doesn't help the mental aspect of the game either.
The good news is there's a lot of baseball to play, while the Mets continue to stay hot. Alonso can continue to work through his troubles, and hopefully for the Mets, that isn't too much longer.
Since the second half started, the first baseman is slashing .151/.315/.342 with four homers and 10 RBI over 20 games.