From Troy Renck of the Denver Post comes word that Rockies outfielder Carlos Gonzalez is unlikely to return to the playing field this season.
CarGo is still battling soreness in his banged-up right wrist and had a wisdom tooth extracted last week.
He could probably push through the discomfort and function as a pinch-hitter or defensive replacement over the Rockies’ final handful of games, but what would be the point? The Rockies entered play Sunday 21 games back of the Diamondbacks in the National League West standings and 18 games behind the Braves in the National League Wild Card chase. They’re, um, out of it.
Gonzalez, 25, batted .295/.363/.526 with 26 home runs, 92 RBI and 20 stolen bases in 542 plate appearances this year for fourth-place Colorado. He earned National League MVP votes last season when he posted a .336/.376/.598 slash line, 34 home runs, 117 RBI and 26 steals across 636 plate appearances.
Alex Pavlovic of NBC Sports Bay Area hints that the Giants may be done with outfielder Hunter Pence. It’s not clear just how seriously the club is contemplating such a decision, but there are six days remaining on Pence’s rehab assignment, at which point they’ll be able to recall him, reassign him to the minors or release him.
The 35-year-old outfielder has struggled to make a full recovery after spraining his right thumb during the first week of the season. Pence bounced back for a 17-game run with the Giants in April, during which he slashed a meager .172/.197/.190 with one double and one stolen base in 61 plate appearances, but was eventually placed on the disabled list with recurring soreness in his finger. He currently sports a promising .318/.359/.388 batting line with four extra-base hits (including a grand slam) over 92 PA in Triple-A Sacramento.
Despite his recent resurgence in Triple-A, the Giants may not need the additional outfield depth just yet. Mac Williamson, who was recalled in the wake of Pence’s DL assignment, has already cemented the starting role in left field and is off to a strong start at the plate as well. Of course, if the Giants decide to say a premature goodbye to their veteran outfielder (who, it should be said, helped them to two World Series championships over the last seven seasons), it’ll cost them the remaining balance on his $18.5 million salary for 2018.