Just about everything has gone right so far for the 2017 Colorado Rockies.
They sit atop the National League West. A rookie-dominated bullpen has been fantastic from the mound. Charlie Blackmon and Nolan Arenado are likely to play in the All-Star game; the latter, coming off his first cycle in a dramatic victory over the San Francisco Giants on Father’s Day, is a frontrunner for NL MVP, too.
But one person who has noticeably struggled amid all the success? Right fielder Carlos Gonzalez. Team manager Bud Black is hopeful that the club’s longest-tenured player will find his groove as the regular season nears its intermission.
“I keep saying it, but I believe it,” Black told 104.3 The Fan. “The coaches believe it, the front office executives believe it: (Gonzalez is) gonna get this going in the second half (of the season)… He’ll be there at crunch time.”
The Venezuelan batted 0-for-20 with six strikeouts on the last road trip. Black sat the struggling Gonzalez last Wednesday against the Pittsburgh Pirates for Raimel Tapia. And after returning to fourth in the batting order on June 16, he was demoted to sixth for the final two games of the series against the Giants.
The three-time all-star is hitting .219 this season, the lowest of his nine-year career. His career-average is .287.
“(CarGo) hasn’t hung his head one bit through this first couple months of struggling at the plate,” Black said in the radio interview.
Gonzalez has just five home runs and 19 RBIs on the season, with a .335 slugging percentage.
“We get CarGo going the way we know CarGo can get going, I think we have a chance to be the most dangerous team in the major leagues,” Arenado said last week.
Gonzalez and the Rockies will be back in action Tuesday for the start of a three-game series against the Arizona Diamondbacks (44-26).