SCOTTSDALE, AZ - MARCH 09: Carlos Gonzalez #5 of the Colorado Rockies makes a running catch against the Oakland Athletics at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick on March 9, 2012 in Scottsdale, Arizona. (Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images)
CarGo keeps his feet on the ground
Carlos Gonzalez says hello to those present at the Rockies Spring Training clubhouse Monday morning. He then returns to his seat in front of his locker. What CarGo always looks for is time to reflect and think about what he wants to do and how to get there.
That is why, in a way, he welcomes an offseason more relaxed than the dizzying media circus in which he was front and center after becoming: the NL batting champion, winning the Silver Slugger and Players' Choice Awards, a media spokesperson for products such as root beer and shaving razors.
"It is sure different for me now. 2010 was a dream season for me, because I always wanted to achieve milestones... but I never thought I would experience practically everything at the same time," Gonzalez said.
"All of those things came for me so quickly, it was mind-numbing if you will. But it was so fast for me. It was too much fame, too suddenly. It was too much to handle for a kid like me, to be honest. What has been good about this offseason is that I've been able to get a little breathing room, step back and reflect on my plans for this upcoming season and the work I have to do in order to get there."
Rafael Betancourt has a big task ahead of him.
After saving eight games in nine chances while replacing Huston Street while he was injured, he has the responsibility of being the full-time closer. But that's not the main thing on his mind during this Spring Training.
"I always try to do the same work whenever I get ready for a season. Then you realize there are things for you to improve on," Betancourt said. "I always try to get ready, not just physically, because you are always set in motion during the season and also throughout the winter; but there's also mental preparation to be done."
"Besides my pitching mechanics, I always work on locating the ball whenever I want to. The main thing for me is staying in control of situations, regardless of the role," the pitcher said.
Rockies make more moves
Several moves were announced today by the Rockies. Righties Rob Scahill and Josh Sullivan have been reassigned. The hurlers were non-roster invitees to Major League Camp.
Christian Friedrich, who was named by Baseball America as the 14th best prospect in the organization during the offseason, and infielder DJ LeMahieu have been optioned and remain on the 40-man roster. Outfielder Jamie Hoffman was outrighted and he chose to become a free agent.