You half expected Carlos Gonzalez to be wearing a Santa suit. That's the kind of giving mood a beaming CarGo was in Saturday morning at Coors Field, where he and his family collected Christmas toys for the "Precious CarGo Toy Drive." "It's so great to spend time with the fans and the community, and I was surprised by how many people showed up today," Gonzalez said, noting the long line of chilly fans lined up on Blake Street when he arrived. "I'm really excited, because it's about a good cause and we are going to be helping a lot of kids who need a Christmas present." CarGo's holiday spirit extends to his ballclub. When the Rockies traded Dexter Fowler to Houston for right-handed pitcher Jordan Lyles and outfielder Brandon Barnes, it left a giant hole in center field. The Rockies are counting on Gonzalez, a three-time Gold Glove winner, to move over from left field to fill the void. "I'm excited," he said. "It's something I've done before and I think it's best for the team. So I am getting ready for it and I'm really excited about the challenge and I am just trying to make this team better." Although he has played exclusively in left field the last two seasons, Gonzalez has a proven track record as a center fielder. In 2010, when he won the National League batting title and finished third in the MVP race, Gonzalez started 51 games in center field, 51 in left field and 34 in right field. "I think the philosophy behind (the move) is that CarGo is one of the greatest assets we have as a club," said Rockies manager Walt Weiss. "We're talking about putting him in a position in center field to impact the game more and take advantage of that skill set that he has. "I think he's one of the best outfielders, period, in the game regardless of position. So I don't have any concern about him playing that position." Gonzalez suffered wrist injuries in 2011 while bouncing between center, left and right field. And before the Rockies signed Michael Cuddyer prior to the 2012 season, there was talk of moving Gonzalez to right field permanently. While CarGo said he was open to the move, he made it clear that his preference was to stay in one spot — left field. That's where he won Gold Gloves the last two seasons. "It's easier if I don't bounce around, because you get comfortable with the stadiums, where the walls are, where you need to play," Gonzalez said in April.
Carlos Gonzalez "really excited" about moving to center field in 2014
Denver Post | Dec 15