Rockies outfielder Carlos Gonzalez missed 92 games with injuries last season and struggled when he was healthy enough to play, so when the 29-year-old two-time All-Star got off to a bad start this year it was cause for major concern in Colorado.
Gonzalez hit just .188 with two homers and a .542 OPS through 29 games despite claiming to be fully healthy. Something seemed to click for him in mid-May and since then he’s hit .319 with 18 homers and a .990 OPS in 61 games.
That includes two homers last night, two homers Sunday, two homers Friday, and one homer Thursday for a five-game stretch in which Gonzalez went 12-for-21 (.571) with seven homers, 15 RBIs, and a 2.180 OPS.
And in the wake of trading Troy Tulowitzki to the Blue Jays, might the Rockies look to deal Gonzalez now that he’s performing like a middle-of-the-order star again? He’s owed $17 million in 2016 and $20 million in 2017.
The Athletic’s Andrew Baggarly and Zach Buchanan report that Diamondbacks starter Madison Bumgarner has been competing in rodeos under a fake name as recently as December. The fake name is Mason Saunders. Bumgarner explains that “Mason” is shortened from “Madison,” while “Saunders” is his wife’s maiden name.
Bumgarner — err, Saunders — and one of his rodeo partners, Jaxson Tucker, won $26,560 in a team-roping rodeo competition in December. The Rancho Rio Arena posted a picture of the pair on Facebook, highlighting that they roped four steers in 31.36 seconds.
As Baggarly and Buchanan point out, Bumgarner also pointed out in a rodeo competition last March, just a couple days before pitching in a Cactus League game versus the Athletics, back when he was still with the Giants.
Bumgarner suffered bruised ribs and a left shoulder AC sprain in 2017 when he got into a dirt bike accident. Given that, Bumgarner’s latest extracurricular activity does raise a concern for the Diamondbacks, who inked him to a five-year, $85 million contract two months ago. Baggarly and Buchanan asked Bumgarner about such a concern. Bumgarner referred them to the club’s managing partner Ken Kendrick. Kendrick directed them to GM Mike Hazen. Hazen declined speaking about “specific contract language.” For what it’s worth, Bumgarner says he primarily uses his right hand to rope.
The jig is up on Bumgarner’s hobby. He jokingly said to The Athletic’s pair, “I’m nervous about this interview right now.” He added, “I’m upset with both you two.”