Carlos Gonzalez is struggling to play through knee problems

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Rockies outfielder Carlos Gonzalez continues to play through knee tendinitis that has bothered him all season and it’s starting to show in his performance.

Gonzalez is hitting .275 with seven homers and an .803 OPS, which would be very good for most players. However, that would be his lowest batting average in a full season by 20 points and his lowest OPS in a full season by 78 points. Beyond that he’s also attempted just two stolen bases in 42 games after stealing 21, 20, 20, and 26 bases in the previous four years.

Here’s what Gonzalez told Patrick Saunders of the Denver Post about the status of his knee:

I feel a little better; still fighting with that knee. I think it’s showing in stolen bases. It’s kind of slowed down a lot. But I continue to get treatment every day and hopefully it gets better and I can bring that speed back to the club. …

Sometimes, thinking about my hitting mechanics, and sometimes it bothers me (there) too. To have the leg kick and sit on that knee. When I’m having that pain, even without trying, my reaction is to just get (off) of that knee and jump out front. It’s causing me problems in the batter’s box. But like I said, I’m fighting with that, trying to do anything possible to stay in the lineup every day.

Gonzalez has played in 42 of 45 games for the Rockies, but based on those quotes at some point you’ve got to figure a little extra time off might help him stay productive all season long.

Giancarlo Stanton will defend his Home Run Derby title

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The Marlins announced on Sunday that outfielder Giancarlo Stanton will defend his Home Run Derby title when the city of Miami host’s the All-Star Game festivities next month.

Stanton, 27, defeated Todd Frazier in the finals of last year’s Home Run Derby at Petco Park, hitting 20 home runs to Frazier’s 13. Stanton hit a total of 61 home runs in the Derby. This will be the third Home Run Derby in which Stanton has participated.

Stanton also went 1-for-3 with a solo home run to help the Marlins defeat the Cubs 4-2 on Sunday. He’s now batting .274/.357/.551 with 20 home runs and 49 RBI in 311 plate appearances.

Aaron Hicks to go on the disabled list with an oblique injury

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Yankees outfielder Aaron Hicks left Sunday’s game against the Rangers after four innings due to soreness in his right oblique. After the game, Hicks said he expects to go on the 10-day disabled list and miss the next three to four weeks, MLB.com’s Bryan Hoch reports.

Hicks was 1-for-2 with a single before departing on Sunday. He entered the game batting .288/.397/.515 with 10 home runs and 37 RBI in 198 plate appearances. It is by far the best season of his career.

Jacoby Ellsbury is on his way back from a concussion, so the Yankees will only have to bridge the gap in center field for a week or two. Mason Williams could draw some starts in center field in the meantime.