As Rockies fans know all too well, Carlos Gonzalez has had a terrible 2017 season. The Rockies need to stop putting ego and pride over performance bench Gonzalez in favor, at least, in the interim, for Tapia.
Carlos Gonzalez has had the worst season of his professional career in 2017. Entering Saturday, Gonzalez has played in 84 games and he has had 68 hits, 16 doubles, six home runs, 72 strikeouts, a .227 batting average, a .301 on-base percentage, a .341 slugging percentage, and an OPS+ of 57.
As Zachary Rymer, of our cousin company Bleacher Report, noted in an article yesterday, that the OPS+ number would make him the third worst player in all of baseball. By Wins Above Replacement on Baseball Reference, he is at -1.3, which would make him the worst player in all of baseball. Fangraphs.com has his Wins Above Replacement being even worse at -1.8. His advanced stats are even worse as his wRC+ (Weighted Runs Created Plus) is only 50 (100 is league average).
He is in the final season of his 7-year/$80 million deal so he will be a free agent the end of the season.
These numbers have been a huge liability for the Rockies and they need to bench him. I know that he is making $20 million this season which is, by far, the highest on the team (Nolan Arenado is second on the team with $11.75 million) but he must be benched because he’s not just having a down season, but a terrible season.
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Replacement for Gonzalez
Before today’s game, Raimel Tapia was re-called from Triple-A Albuquerque (as our own Kevin Henry discussed in this article earlier today). At least in the interim, he needs to fill Gonzalez’s role. The Rockies might have to look for a replacement on the trade market before the trade deadline on Monday or in August during the waiver trade period but Tapia can fill it adequately for now.
This season, in 40 games (23 of which have been starts), he has two home runs, nine RBIs, a .314 batting average, .369 on-base percentage, a .480 slugging percentage, and an OPS+ of 106.
He hasn’t been great defensively (-6 Defensive Runs Saved) but he will definitely be better than Gonzalez has this season.
Gonzalez will be hitting sixth in the batting order tonight against the Washington Nationals so this is obviously not happening tonight but manager Bud Black must do it. It’s a sad way for Rockies fans to potentially see their former star in his last season of his contract by riding the pine but baseball is a business. And Gonzalez is hurting it.