March 12, 2018. A date which will live in Colorado Rockies infamy. OK, maybe not quite that dramatic but however it was the day the Rockies reached a one year/$8 million deal to bring back right fielder Carlos Gonzalez.
At the time, there was a ton of excitement surrounding the signing. It gave the Rockies a highly popular, left-handed bat at a much needed corner position and veteran presence in the clubhouse. For CarGo, it gave him a shot at redemption from an extremely disappointing 2017 season.
The signing also led to many questions including some from me which can be read here. My final question in that article, was and still is the most important question. “What CarGo are the Rockies getting?” So far, the Rockies have received the CarGo of ’17 and have not gotten their money’s worth.
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In 25 games, Gonzalez has a slash line of .213/.253/.375 with 3 home runs and 12 RBI, including 2 for his last 17 to go along with a stint on the DL. This leads to my next question: Did the Rockies make a mistake by bringing CarGo back?
Recently, Bud Black gave his vote of confidence in CarGo that he will get better at the plate but what else would you expect him to do? The bat speed may still be there, but his plate discipline is still suspect at best. He continues to chase breaking balls out side the zone (20 strikeouts in 80 at-bats) and rolls over groundballs to the right side of the infield.
More importantly, Carlos Gonzalez is taking away at bats from the future of the Rockies’ outfield. David Dahl needs to be in the starting lineup everyday. In the 13 games since being called up, nine of which were starts, Dahl is hitting .300/.349/.500 with a homer, two triples, and five RBI. The one negative is that he has 17 strikeouts in 40 at-bats but he has cut that down to 4 in his last 17.
Also, don’t forget about Raimel Tapia in Triple-A Albuquerque who is hitting .298 with five homers and 22 RBI in 28 games, including 15 for his last 39 (.385). If CarGo is not on the roster, Tapia is likely up with the Rockies.
It may be blasphemy for me to say but with DJ LeMahieu coming off the disabled list on Tuesday, the Rockies should seriously consider cutting all ties with CarGo instead of sending Noel Cuevas or Daniel Castro back down to the minors. Cutting Gonzalez won’t happen, at least for now, but Jeff Bridich bringing Carlos Gonzalez back for 2018 is turning out to be his biggest mistake of the recent offseason.