Carlos Gonzalez was hoping to rejoin the Rockies as soon as tomorrow after missing nearly a month with a sprained right middle finger, but that’s not going to happen.
Gonzalez went 1-for-6 with a walk over his first two rehab games with Triple-A Colorado Springs, but Troy Renck of the Denver Post reports that he was scratched from the lineup tonight because his finger is still bothering him. Not only will his return be pushed back, but it’s legitimate to wonder whether the Rockies will just shut him down for the rest of the season at this point.
Gonzalez has been a monster when on the field this season, batting .302/.367/.591 with 26 home runs, 70 RBI, and 20 stolen bases over 103 games. He has never played more than 145 games in a season.
Free agent outfielder Michael Saunders has agreed to a minor-league contract with the Royals, the team announced Friday. While the move comes just two days after Saunders agreed to terms with the Pirates, he allegedly asked for his release after the club acquired outfielder Corey Dickerson in a multi-player swap with the Rays on Thursday. MLB.com’s Jeffrey Flanagan adds that Saunders will make $1.5 million upon reaching the majors, with a potential $500,000 in bonuses.
After earning his first spot on an All-Star team in 2016, Saunders followed up a solid campaign with a career-worst performance in 2017. The 31-year-old split the season between the Phillies and Blue Jays’ camps, batting a combined .202/.256/.344 with six home runs and -0.7 fWAR in 234 plate appearances. Although he remained healthy throughout the year, with no sign of the lingering hamstring strain that has plagued him on and off since 2013, he wasn’t productive enough to merit a full-time role on either roster.
With Dickerson slated for a starting role in Pittsburgh, it was unlikely that Saunders would have commanded anything other than a backup role in 2018. Now, however, he’ll compete for playing time amid a slew of outfield options, including Alex Gordon, Cody Asche, Jorge Bonifacio, Tyler Collins and Paulo Orlando.