Just a day after announcing shortstop Troy Tulowitzki would undergo season-ending surgery, the team confirmed that the 28-year-old outfielder will face the same fate to repair his left patellar tendon:
#Rockies OF Carlos Gonzalez will have surgery on his left patella tendon on Monday. Will be performed by Dr. Tom Hackett— Colorado Rockies (@Rockies) August 15, 2014
As MLB.com's Thomas Harding added, the expected recovery time effectively puts an end to CarGo's season:
@Rockies recovery time is 5-6 months, so OF Carlos Gonzalez should be ready for next Spring Training— Thomas Harding (@harding_at_mlb) August 15, 2014
Really, it's not all that surprising. At 47-74, the Rockies are tied with the Texas Rangers for the worst record in the majors. With nothing left to play for, it wouldn't make sense to rush back Gonzalez, whose patellar tendon damage had only gotten worse as of late, per Harding:
#Rockies OF Carlos Gonzalez's patella tendon damage has increased slightly. CarGo, club and doctors will consult Thursday— Thomas Harding (@harding_at_mlb) August 14, 2014
But hey, as Fox 31's Raul Martinez implied, at least it can't get much worse for the Rox:
Carlos Gonzalez will have surgery on his left patella tendon on Monday according to the #Rockies. What else can go wrong with this team?— Raul Martinez (@RaulSports) August 15, 2014
CarGo, a career .294 hitter who had hit above .300 in three of the past four seasons, finishes with easily the worst numbers since his rookie season. In 70 games, he hit a brutal .238/.292/.431 with 11 home runs and just 19 walks to 70 strikeouts.
He was simply never healthy, though. He had a benign tumor removed from his finger in June and battled ankle problems before being placed on the disabled list with lingering knee tendinitis. He discussed the difficulty of playing through a seemingly endless line of maladies, via The Denver Post's Nick Groke:
It's hard to play that way, when you go out there and feel like, 'I can't move today. I just hope nobody hits the ball where I'm playing right now.' When your body gets stressed, your mental part gets affected too.
Instead of thinking about the way they're pitching me or if the ball is hit to me, I'm gonna throw it this way. All I was thinking was, 'My knee hurts; I don't feel good.' The mental stress is big.
Gonzalez has been at the center of trade rumors throughout the season, but he's owed $53 million from 2015 to 2017. Considering the year he just had and the current status of his knee (and ankle), he's going to have next to no trade value.
Instead, the Rockies just need to focus on getting him healthy for the start of the 2015 season. Because if that happens, there's little doubt he can return to being one of the best hitters in the league.