Arenado plans to 'grind through' recent funk

Rockies third baseman doesn't start finale, enters as defensive replacement

Arenado plans to 'grind through' recent funk

NEW YORK -- Rockies third baseman Nolan Arenado could have looked at Sunday as a chance to rest and feel good, but he didn't.

In Saturday night's 7-2 victory over the Mets, he ended an 0-for-15 skid, drove in a run with a sacrifice fly and hit another ball deep to the outfield. Isn't that something to smile about as he got a break from starting Sunday's 6-4 loss to the Mets?

"I guess ... not really," said Arenado, who came in to play third in the seventh and struck out against Addison Reed in the eighth. "I'm not playing very well. That's why days off are coming, because I'm not playing to the level that they want me to, or that I should. But it was nice to hit the ball hard."

Of course, this isn't a punitive benching. Teams don't do that to All-Stars. A rough road trip (3-fo-25, one home run, three RBIs) doesn't negate .279 with 26 home runs and 79 RBIs (tied for second in the National League entering Sunday) in 102 of the club's 104 games.

Arenado took July 21 off, then returned to go 7-for-21 (.333) with three home runs and seven RBIs in the next five games. But since then he has been fidgety and his swing path has been off just enough to lead to weak popups and foul balls.

Also, the three-time Rawlings Gold Glove winner has made three errors on the trip. His recent defensive issues have been overshadowed by the Rockies' winning ways, but they have a better chance to keep the surge going if he regains his form. Arenado said there are aches and pains, as in every season, but nothing preventing him from playing well.

"I thought the day off I had last week would slow my mind down, but I guess it didn't," Arenado said. "I'll just grind through this feeling and try to get going. Guys are picking me up right now. Hopefully, I can start getting together.

"Every season brings a different adversity."

Thomas Harding has covered the Rockies since 2000, and for since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb, listen to podcasts and like his Facebook page. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.