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Carlos Gonzalez inching closer to return

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Gonzalez was initially questionable for the start of spring training, but it appears he's making progress toward being ready by then. Plus, more intriguing prospect stuff via Baseball America's Jack Etkin.

Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Colorado Rockies outfielder Carlos Gonzalez will find out today whether he can soon resume on-field baseball activities.

Gonzalez will see Dr. Thomas Hackett, who performed surgery on the two-time All-Star last August in Vail, Colo., to have his knee checked on Wednesday, according to Venezuelan reporter Wilmer Reina (via MLB's Thomas Harding). It is expected that Gonzalez will be cleared to begin running and taking batting practice on the field, which leaves roughly a month for him to prepare for spring training.

CarGo took batting practice on Tuesday under the close watch of Rockies trainer Keith Dugger, manager Walt Weiss and general manager Jeff Bridich. It can only be assumed that there were no issues since Gonzalez and the club are seeking clearance for a return to the field out of the visit to Vail.

There was doubt earlier this offseason that Gonzalez would be ready by the time spring training rolled around, but if all goes well with the check-up on Wednesday, the Rockies will be one big step closer toward finally having their star (hopefully) right fielder healthy and fully engaged for the start of the season.

Links

2015 Colorado Rockies Top 10 Prospects Chat - BaseballAmerica.com ($)
Jack Etkin chatted about the Rockies' top 10 list he published yesterday. A few intriguing things:

  • Correlle Prime made some adjustments to his swing, transforming himself from a hitter always trying to inside-out pitches to a legitimate power threat by focusing on using his lower half, which allowed him to better turn on pitches.
  • Emerson Jimenez could return to switch-hitting next season. The Rockies previously made him focus on hitting from the left side only, but Jimenez has gained enough strength to where the team feels comfortable allowing him to start hitting from the right side again.
  • Kyle Freeland had better velocity than Jon Gray last season, a development that led to Etikin picking Freeland over Gray for Best Fastball in the system. We'll have more on those tools, as well as what Etkin believes the Rockies' 2018 lineup will look like, later today.
  • There aren't any concerns with Eddie Butler going forward, despite his poor 2014 season. Etkin mentions last year should be a "very good teaching tool" for Butler who, according to multiple sources, developed some poor conditioning habits that certainly can be -- and quite possibly have already been -- fixed.

Prospect Watch: Top 10 right-handed pitchers | rockies.com
Gray ranks fifth behind top prospects Lucas Giolito, Noah Syndergaard, Tyler Glasnow and a guy -- Archie Bradley -- who missed most of last season. Gray's drop in velocity doesn't seem to have scouts concerned because there is no loss of stuff, per Jonathan Mayo. And, really, this is just another indication that Gray has been pitching with training wheels on.

MLB looking to shorten inning breaks, per report - SBNation.com
Hey, look -- a solution to the pace of play issue that doesn't involve a clock. Now, just start getting all of those guys on the left side of the photo that accompanies this article to do their jobs (i.e. enforce the rules that already exist), and we'll really be onto something.