Carlos Gonzalez will join teammate Troy Tulowitzki on the sidelines for the remainder of the year, as the Rockies announced that the outfielder will undergo season-ending left knee surgery Monday.
Cody Ulm of MLB.com reports that the recovery timetable for Gonzalez is expected to be 5-6 months, which would only leave him about a month or so of leeway before the beginning of spring training.
Gonzalez has had knee problems dating back to last season and the 28-year-old has played just 70 games this year while hitting a career-worst .238 with a .723 OPS after topping an .875 OPS every season from 2009-2013.
“It was hard for me to sit back and have a leg kick,” Gonzalez told Ulm. “It was even harder to hold all my weight on my back knee.”
Gonzalez played 145 games in 2010 while winning the batting title and finishing third in the MVP balloting, but since then he’ll have played 442 of a possible 648 games for the Rockies while missing at least 27 games each year.
The Giants placed outfielder Hunter Pence on the 10-day disabled list with a right thumb sprain, per an official announcement on Friday. Pence initially sustained the injury during the club’s home opener on April 3, when he dove to intercept a line drive double from Robinson Cano and jammed his thumb. Weeks of playing through the pain hasn’t worked, so he’ll take a breather while the Giants give outfielder Mac Williamson a chance to start in left after getting called up from Triple-A Fresno.
Pence, 35, wouldn’t pin his recent struggles on his injury, but it’s clear that he’s having difficulty finding his footing this year. He slashed a meager .172/.197/.190 through 61 plate appearances in 2018, collecting just one extra-base hit and two walks during the Giants’ dismal 7-11 stretch. While it’s far too early in the season to make any final judgments, it doesn’t look like the veteran outfielder will be replicating the .275+ average, 4.0+ fWAR totals of years past (at least, not anytime soon).
Williamson, meanwhile, has gotten off to a hot start in Triple-A. Prior to his call-up this weekend, the 27-year-old batted an incredible .487/.600/1.026 with six home runs and a 1.626 OPS through his first 50 PA. A hot Triple-A bat doesn’t always survive the transition to the majors, but the Giants will use all the help they can get — especially as they take on the AL West-leading Angels this weekend.