CarGo 'feels good' after taking batting practice
Outfielder progressing, hoping for swift return to Rockies' lineup
DENVER -- Rockies outfielder Carlos Gonzalez took batting practice at Coors Field on Monday, the latest step in his progression as he recovers from inflamed ligaments in his right wrist."I felt good," Gonzalez said shortly after the hitting session. "I'm getting there, a lot of progress. It's been getting a lot better quicker than I thought, so I'm pretty excited. I think I'll be back in the lineup soon." Gonzalez injured his wrist on July 3 when he crashed into the center-field wall while making a catch, and he re-injured it after a swing on July 21. He is expected to hit again on Tuesday and will then likely begin a short Minor League rehab assignment. Gonzalez is eligible to come off the 15-day disabled list on Friday, though the Rockies have yet to determine whether he will be ready to return to the lineup by then. "After tomorrow afternoon, we'll see where he's at and gather up a plan of attack going from there," said Rockies manager Jim Tracy. Gonzalez was gathering momentum before the awkward swing put him out of action. He hit .357 (5-for-14) with two home runs and a walk-off single during a four-game series against the Braves before aggravating his wrist. Overall, Gonzalez is hitting .289 with 15 homers and 56 RBIs. "I've only been on [the DL] 10 days so far, but it seems like a lot longer than that," he said. "You always want to be playing, especially this late in the season." Gonzalez turned around a slow start to the season by hitting .349 in June, a surge aided by his move into the leadoff spot. The outfielder is hopeful he will be able to quickly recapture that form following his return, but he said he isn't worried about how his numbers will factor into the equation. "When I come back, it's going to be simple -- just try to play baseball," Gonzalez said. "Play smart and help the team in any situation. You don't have to hit a homer every time. You can do a lot of things and help the team with small ball. I'll be ready to do that." In other injury news, first baseman Jason Giambi, on the 15-day DL with a strained left quadriceps, played catch before Monday's game against the Phillies. The timeline for Giambi's return is still unclear. "He's feeling better," Tracy said. "I don't think they want to push it just yet as far as [hitting] or anything like that is concerned, with the pushing off of the quad and the left leg. But he is headed in the direction that we want him to go in. The hitting part of it is still probably a couple, few days away."
Despite rough outings, Tracy backs Brothers
DENVER -- Rookie reliever Rex Brothers suffered through the worst outing of his young Major League career on Sunday, but Rockies manager Jim Tracy's confidence in the young left-hander has not wavered.Brothers pitched himself into a share of the setup role by allowing just one earned run in July -- with 19 strikeouts against five walks -- before running into trouble in Sunday's 8-3 loss to the Padres. He was burned by erratic fastball command and gave up three earned runs on a triple and two walks. He didn't retire a batter as the Padres scored six eighth-inning runs to send the Rockies to their 15th straight Sunday loss. Brothers came on in the 10th inning Monday and yielded a solo homer to Shane Victorino, ultimately netting a 4-3 loss to the Phillies. He retired the side in order after that. Tracy said he has seen too many positives from Brothers to be discouraged by what he termed "signs of youth." "That's something that's going to be a little bit of on-the-job-type training, if you will, with our young left-hander out there." Tracy said. "What we had seen the three or four times prior to yesterday was brilliance, a real difficult time for the opposition to even foul a ball off." In his five appearances preceding Sunday (a span of five innings), Brothers allowed just two hits while striking out 10 with no walks. Tracy is confident more stretches like that are on the horizon, even if they are accompanied by some growing pains. "Maybe the next one won't be so good, or maybe the next two or three will be just as brilliant as the three prior to [Sunday]," Tracy said. "Then maybe we'll fall back again. That's all part of a natural progression to get somebody to become somebody you think he's so physically capable of becoming."
Nick Kosmider is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.