Rockies outfielder Carlos Gonzalez hit for the cycle in the Rockies’ 6-5 defeat of the Cubs on Saturday, and he accomplished the home run part of the feat with a walkoff blast.
He singled in the first inning, tripled in the third, doubled in the fifth and then ended the night with a solo shot to deep right field in the bottom of the ninth. He is the sixth player in Rockies history to pull off all of those hits in the same game and the first player to end a cycle with a walkoff home run since Dwight Evans in 1984. Thanks, STATS LLC.
Gonzalez is having an incredible 2010 and seems to get better each night. Through 383 at-bats this season, he is batting .321/.350/.554 with 21 homers, 68 RBI and 15 stolen bases. The Rockies, meanwhile, have climbed to 5.5 games back of the Giants in the hunt for the National League Wild Card. They trail the NL West-leading Padres by 7.5 games.
Pablo Sandoval could be tabbed to play second base in the near future, per a report from John Shea of the San Francisco Chronicle. According to Shea, Sandoval has been spotted taking grounders at second during pre-game warm-ups and may be considering switching to the keystone on a part-time basis.
It wouldn’t be the weirdest thing the 31-year-old corner infielder has done this year — that distinction goes to the flawless inning of relief he pitched in a blowout loss against the Dodgers last month. But it would represent a pretty notable departure from his comfort zone even so; Sandoval has primarily manned first and third base throughout his 11-year career in the majors and has also taken a few reps at DH during his resurgence with the Giants in 2018.
Of course, this wouldn’t necessarily be a permanent switch for Sandoval. As Shea points out, the Giants are thin on middle infielders after losing Joe Panik to a torn UCL in his left thumb and backup Alen Hanson to a left hamstring strain. Provided he can get up to speed quickly (no easy feat, according to infield coach Ron Wotus), he’d give the club some added depth behind Kelby Tomlinson and Miguel Gomez until Panik is ready to take the field again. Sandoval has impressed at the plate this spring, batting a healthy .270/.329/.429 with six extra-base hits and a .757 through 70 plate appearances.