When healthy, Colorado Rockies outfielder Carlos Gonzalez has shown he is an elite player, one able to make an impact on both offense and defense.
Gonzalez can play all three outfield positions extremely well thanks to a strong, accurate arm and plenty of range. He hits for both power and average with a picturesque left-handed swing.In short, Gonzalez is one of those rare players who can make a difficult game look downright easy.That was far from the case last year, when Gonzalez, 29, endured his most trying season. He played a career-low 70 games and hit .238/.292/.431 with 11 home runs and 38 RBIs in 281 plate appearances.It was a long fall for Gonzalez, a two-time All-Star, who has won three Gold Gloves and a National League batting title.Gonzalez had a benign tumor removed from his left index finger on June 10. That surgery was an exploratory procedure in the Cleveland Clinic, which an exasperated Gonzalez first visited when the Rockies played in Cleveland on May 30-June 1. At the time of the surgery, Gonzalez had not played for exactly a week and had so much trouble gripping the bat with his top hand when swinging that he was in the throes of an awful slump. To wit, Gonzalez had two hits in 24 at-bats with nine strikeouts, the final portion of an 11-for-58 slide with 17 strikeouts dating from May 9.After coming off the disabled list July 11 when his finger had healed, the chronic tendinitis in his left knee — something that Gonzalez learned to play with, compensating when necessary — began to get more and more bothersome. On Aug. 8, Gonzalez played what turned out to be his final game of the season. He went 0-for-3 at Arizona, striking out on each at-bat. That left him 4-for-28 with 12 strikeouts in nine games and the realization that continuing to play was futile with his left knee patella tendinitis restricting him so much. Gonzalez underwent surgery Aug. 18.Manager Walt Weiss has said he will ease Gonzalez into Cactus League games and will let him get plenty of at-bats in minor league games to assure he’s ready for Opening Day. That’s not until April 6 at Milwaukee.But the early signs are very encouraging. The first time he took batting practice on one of the practice diamonds at the Rockies complex in Scottsdale, Ariz., Gonzalez drove the ball far and had a pleasant flashback.”I can put all my … – Click Here To Visit Article Source