Ronny Rodriguez mired in epic slump after carrying Detroit Tigers' offense for a month

Rodriguez has four hits, 21 strikeouts in last 11 games

Ronny Rodriguez doubles to drive in Nicholas Castellanos during a game against the Kansas City Royals at Comerica Park on May 3, 2019, in Detroit. (Duane Burleson/Getty Images)

DETROIT - Detroit Tigers shortstop Ronny Rodriguez is mired in a major slump after carrying the team's offense for an entire month.

Rodriguez was the best hitter on the roster between when he was called up April 14 and when he hit his last home run May 14. He led the team with six home runs and added eight doubles and two triples. He also drew six walks and owned a .357 on-base percentage.

Overall, he had 24 hits in 21 games and led the team with an elite 1.058 OPS.

The last 11 games have not been as kind.

Since raising his average to .312 with back-to-back multi-hit games May 13 and 14, Rodriguez has gone 4-for-40 at the plate with one double and one triple. His plate discipline has been the most concerning part of the slump: zero walks to 21 strikeouts over the 11-game stretch.

Ronny Rodriguez doubles to drive in Nicholas Castellanos during a game against the Kansas City Royals at Comerica Park on May 3, 2019, in Detroit. (Duane Burleson/Getty Images)

He's batting .100 with a .095 OBP and .270 OPS since May 14.

Rodriguez has seen his slash line fall from .312/.357/.701 to .239/.270/.521. His OPS has fallen .267 and now sits at .791.

The Tigers are desperate for any offensive help this season, and Rodriguez had been exactly what they needed. He came out of nowhere to provide an extra-base threat to the heart of the order, and he came through with several clutch hits over the first month, racking up 17 RBI.

Now, though, Rodriguez has reverted to the tendencies that resulted in a lifetime .726 OPS in parts of nine minor league seasons. After he posted a .591 OPS with the Tigers last season, it's possible Rodriguez's dream start has come to an end.

Jordy Mercer recently started an injury rehab assignment and could be back this week. If Rodriguez continues to whiff at an alarming rate, Mercer could have his starting job back soon.

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