Good news for the defending American League champion Royals (it’s so much fun to say that), as Andy McCullough of the Kansas City Star reports that outfielder Alex Gordon took live batting practice today for the first time since right wrist surgery in January.
Gordon said he felt no discomfort in his wrist, even on a check swing, which is an encouraging sign. He’s expected to play in minor league intrasquad games on Tuesday and Wednesday before potentially making his Cactus League debut. There’s still plenty of time for him to get at-bats before Opening Day.
Gordon, 31, batted .266/.351/.432 with 19 home runs and 74 RBI across 156 games last season and took home his fourth straight Gold Glove Award. This is a big season for him, as his contract with the Royals includes a $12.5 million player option for 2016. He could decline the option and land a lucrative multi-year contract on the open market.
The Indians have designated outfielder Carlos Gonzalez for assignment. This comes after Gonzalez batted a mere .210/.282/.276 over 117 plate appearances in Cleveland. That came after he had to settle for a minor league contract with the Indians in mid-March.
A few years ago Gonzalez was a superstar, winning three Gold Gloves, two Silver Slugger Awards, making the All-Star team three times and coming in third in the MVP balloting once upon a time. That was then, however. His most recent good season came in 2016, when he hit .298/.350/.505 with 25 homers and drove in 100. In 2017 and 2018 he combined to hit .232/.269/.334. Between his falloff in production and the fact that his big numbers of the past were heavily supported by playing at Coors Field, it should not be shocking that he couldn’t make it work in Cleveland.
If he wants to continue his career, he’ll no doubt have to take a minor league gig someplace. Otherwise, this could be the end of the line.