Carlos Gonzalez has dealt with some strange injury luck over the past few months, but the star outfielder insists the issues are past him, and that he'll be able to move from left field to center without a problem.
"You don't want to be bouncing around. That's something I did early in my career and it was affecting me physically and mentally. So I'm ready to play in one position and whatever position is good, either center or left."
CarGo underwent emergency appendectomy surgery and, shortly thereafter, had a separate procedure to take care of a hernia that doctors discovered while dealing with the appendix. Those operations came a few months after Gonzalez was hampered by a nagging finger injury that cut short what was looking like a career season. The 28-year-old slugger thinks he's found a remedy for the finger, which he declined to have surgically repaired, by holding the bat differently. As far as the other ailments are concerned?
"I'm really glad [they] happened in the offseason. I feel good. I recovered really well after the surgery. I got my weight back [to 225 pounds] and I'm ready to go."
In 200 career games as a center fielder, CarGo is 10 runs above average, according to Baseball-Reference. That's by far his best mark at any of the three outfield positions and also easily surpasses former Rockies center fielder Dexter Fowler's minus-42 mark for his career (insert Coors Field outfield defensive metrics caveat here).
There's also zero evidence to prove the theory some people have about Gonzalez being more injury prone in center. The two-time All-Star has had trouble staying on the field, but most of his issues of late have been a result of swinging the bat -- a task CarGo does quickly and violently (not to mention rather efficiently when everything is working right). There should be some concern that the amount of torque he creates on his swing could result in additional damage to the injured finger, but there should be absolutely no worry about his health in relation to the move to the middle of Coors' expansive outfield.