Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Carlos Gonzalez, a company man, will play left field and only left field


Carlos Gonzalez is a company man.

Even when the Colorado Rockies had Dexter Fowler, Gonzalez was probably the best center fielder on the roster. He didn’t play center field then, however, and he won’t play it now.

From a run prevention perspective, CarGo remains the team’s best center fielder. But in the interest of seeing him run into fewer walls and keeping life in his legs over the course of the long season, the Rockies will keep him in left field all year once again. You might be inclined to grumble about that (I know I am), but here’s the thing: CarGo wants it that way too.

Earlier this off-season, the team said it planned to move him to center field after a trade sent Fowler to the Astros. We know now that CarGo was not psyched about that plan, but like a good company man, he kept that opinion to himself. He said he was happy to make the move in the best interests of the team.

With the signing of Drew Stubbs to go with Charlie Blackmon and possibly Corey Dickerson as center field candidates, the Rockies made it official this week that CarGo will stick in left. He is relieved, though he still won’t throw management or his coaches under the bus (quotes from MLB.com):

I told [Weiss] if it’s going to be best for the team, it’s best for me…I want to make this team better. I know I can do it in both left field and center field, but it’s definitely more safe to keep me in left because it’s going to take a lot of your legs. It’s more for the team than for me that they can keep my offense.”

It is important that he stuck to the company line during the transition this off-season; it’s not that the Rockies ever have a lot of drama, but they did not need headlines about CarGo being unhappy with the trade, his role, the direction of the team, and so on. It appears that the Rockies rewarded his handling of the situation by making this announcement so early, assuring CarGo of his spot before the first exhibition game even takes place.

Hat’s off to CarGo for playing it cool, letting things play out, and then continuing to be understated about the whole thing after it went in his favor.

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  • Luke

    Is this a joke? I thought the headline was meant ironically. If Cargo was a good company man, or had any competitive fire, he would actually DO what is best for the team and move to Center! If you read between the lines here, it is obvious that the team wanted to put him in Center when they traded Fowler and Cargo did not want to do it so they let him stay in Left. I mean I guess it’s good they discussed that behind closed doors only but Cargo clearly didn’t do what is best for the team. Now of the other OFers we have, only Stubbs can play Center, and he is unplayable against righties offensively. So we either have a terrible bat or a poor defensive CF for the majority of our games. Great. And I don’t want to hear about how it will “save his legs.” In the 2 years of playing him exclusively in Left, he’s played 131 and 106 games. When the Rox are out of contention in the 2nd half, he will be out with a hammy or a finger strain or whatever, and it wouldn’t matter if he’d been the DH all year.

    • Hayden Kane

      I said specifically that he is their best center fielder and that I see him as a company man because he did not raise a stink publicly about the fact that he would rather stay in left field. So no, this is not a joke.

      I am not inclined to believe that the Rockies traded Fowler, had CarGo pout behind the scenes, and then changed course (and traded Outman as a result so they would have a CF). That doesn’t mean I’m right, but speculating on three or four steps in a series of events that happened behind the scenes isn’t something I’m real interested in doing.

      What I am interested in is what CarGo actually said during the various stages of the off-season, a context laid out clearly here. If it is your opinion that he was disingenuous, then you are welcome to it. Thanks for the comment.

      • basicknowledge

        If not complaining publicly after you already got your way is your definition of a “company man” then that’s a pretty low standard. The connotation of a company man is someone who DOES what’s best for the company. By refusing to move to CF when he’s clearly the best defender (especially now that Blackmon’s claimed the 3rd OF spot), he is not doing that.