The Colorado Rockies placed OF Carlos Gonzalez on the 15-day DL this afternoon due to inflammation in his left index finger, the team reported.. The three-time All Star was removed in the 5th inning of yesterday's game against the Arizona Diamondbacks due to the injury flaring up, and the pain and prognosis was enough today to warrant shutting him down for the near future.
Gonzalez, when healthy, is one of the most lethal left-handed hitters in baseball, but nagging injuries and DL stints have increasingly kept him from playing everyday. He missed time earlier in 2014 with knee tendinitis that still troubles him, and as a result has hit just .255/.307/.449, his worst marks since his 22 year old rookie season with the Oakland Athletics.
Gonzalez is in the 4th year of the 7 year, $80 million contract he signed prior to the 2011 season, and while he's still just 28 years old, he has only played in 517 of a potential 648 games over the previous four seasons, only once topping 135 games played in a single season. Those facts coupled largely with the solid hitting of OFs Corey Dickerson, Charlie Blackmon, Michael Cuddyer, Brandon Barnes, and Drew Stubbs led FoxSports.com's Ken Rosenthal to suggest just yesterday that the Rockies should explore trading Gonzalez in an attempt to acquire more top flight pitching. The Rockies are a game under .500 at 28-29, sit 8.5 games back of the NL West leading San Francisco Giants, and their team ERA of 4.23 ranks second to last in the National League.
A series of moves were made in addition to Gonzalez landing on the DL. The team designated Jordan Pacheco for assignment and recalled IF Ryan Wheeler and C Mike McKenry from Triple-A Colorado Springs. Corey Dickerson, who picked up the bulk of playing time in LF earlier this season when Gonzalez was sitting with knee tendinitis, is getting the start in LF for tonight's game against Arizona and will likely see the most time there for at least the next 15 days.