Carlos Gonzalez walked into the Colorado Rockies clubhouse just after the announcement was made that he would be participating in the 2016 T-Mobile Home Run Derby on Monday night inside Petco Park.
Among the eight players taking place in the Home Run Derby, CarGo was slotted as the seventh seed and will take on defending champion Todd Frazier of the Chicago White Sox. Brackets in the first round were seeded based on 2016 home run totals through Wednesday’s games.
Like last year, players will have the opportunity to hit as many homers as they can in five minutes. As MLB.com stated in this article explaining the rules in detail, “A running clock will begin counting down upon release of the first pitch, though it will stop for any home run hit during the final minute. The clock will stop immediately after those home run balls land and will not begin again until a non-home run ball lands or the batter swings and misses.”
CarGo says he likes the new format more than when he participated in the Derby in 2012.
“I like the new format now. When I did it in 2012, it was only 10 outs. In 10 swings, anything can happen,” Gonzalez said. “I ended up hitting four home runs and I was out in the first round. When you have more time and more swings, I like that better for me. I know I can get hot.
“It’s exhausting because you have to take all those swings. I like the new thing going on now with more time and more swings. I think it’s about getting into a rhythm and when I get into a rhythm, I can hit the ball in the seats for a while. I like my chances this time.”
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He also feels more confident walking into Petco Park this season for his second All-Star appearance.
“I remember 2012 walking into the ballpark and that was my first All-Star Game. I was a little distracted because I wanted to enjoy it,” Gonzalez said. “But after you’ve been there for the first time, you know what you’re going to get. I’m just ready to compete and represent the Rockies and my country.”
Will pitcher-friendly Petco Park cause any problems for Carlos Gonzalez and the rest of the Home Run Derby participants?
“I don’t think BP should be a problem in any stadium,” CarGo smiled. “Petco is hard to hit when you’re facing pitchers but BP, I don’t think it should be a problem. I have enough power to drive the ball out of the ball park. I’m just trying to put on a good show.”
And what about facing Frazier, the defending Home Run Derby champ, in the first round?
“We both have power. Because he won it last year, he’s going to be the fan favorite. I don’t think it matters. We’re all professional hitters and know how to hit the ball out of the ball park. Whoever gets hot, whoever feels better that day is going to win it.”
And who will be pitching to CarGo during the Derby?
“It doesn’t matter (who’s pitching),” CarGo beamed. “What matters is who is going to hit. I don’t think people care who is pitching.
“I’m going to go out there and try to win it. That’s the whole point is to win it and represent your team. Hopefully, I can make that dream come true.”