Weiss confident CarGo can battle through woes

CBA rules limit Rockies' say in makeup game; Motte on track for activation

May 23rd, 2016

PITTSBURGH -- Rockies right fielder Carlos Gonzalez has been out of sync the entire month. Manager Walt Weiss believes it is best to use the slugger in the heart of the lineup in hopes that his fortunes will turn.
Gonzalez entered Monday's finale against the Pirates in a 2-for-32 slump over the previous 10 games while hitting .183 with one home run and one RBI in May. But he batted cleanup against the Bucs -- the fourth time this season he has hit fourth -- and ended an 0-for-17 stretch with a first-inning single before finishing 2-for-4 in the Rockies' 6-3 loss at PNC Park.
"He's definitely struggling right now," Weiss said before the game. "It's funny because he's definitely putting in a lot of work pregame, doing a lot of extra work. It's all been really quality work. We're encouraged every time he has a session with [hitting coach] Blake [Doyle]. But he's had a hard time translating it into the game.
"But with CarGo, the thing is it's like a light switch. He's one at-bat away from doing something big."
That's why Gonzalez continues to bat in the middle of the order near Nolan Arenado, who has 14 home runs and 34 RBIs. Gonzalez hit 40 homers last year after struggling through late May. Respect for his ability to turn hot offers a measure of protection for Arenado.
"I've had him fifth at times and he's bounced between third, fourth and fifth," Weiss said. "And last year when he was struggling, I hit him sixth at times. But it can turn around quickly with him, and he's still dangerous to the opposing pitcher and opposing team."
The best alternative is Mark Reynolds, who has a history of home run power and is batting .323 with two homers. But he bats right-handed like Arenado, and late in games, the combination would give opponents better matchup possibilities.
Worth noting
• With the Pirates and Rockies unable to agree on a makeup date for Sunday's rainout at PNC Park, Major League Baseball intervened and set up Monday afternoon's game, Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said.
So the two clubs returned to PNC Park on Monday morning, even though doing so so resulted in the Pirates playing on 31 straight days and the Rockies 27. The next off-day for both clubs is June 13. The teams were to be off June 9, but that is being used for a makeup game at Coors Field.
Article V, Section C, Paragraph 12 states that no club can play more than 20 consecutive days without an off-day, unless: "(a) the open date is a road off-day for the visiting Club, and (b) the rescheduling does not result in the home team playing more than 24 consecutive dates without an open day."
The CBA allows players to waive those restrictions, as they did Monday, so long as a majority of players from both teams vote to do so.
Typically, the clubs' representatives to the Major League Baseball Players Association meet to discuss when a postponed game should be made up. In this case, the two sides couldn't reach a decision regarding a future date that worked out for both parties.
"There were two dates that were thrown out. They liked one; we didn't like it. Our guys liked one; they didn't like it," Hurdle said. "When you can't agree, it goes back to Major League Baseball and they make the decision."
"Really, there's nothing we could've done. We shouldn't have even started the game yesterday," said Adam Ottavino, the Rockies' player rep. "They kind of forced our pitcher [Chad Bettis] out of play."
Bettis needed eight pitches to vanquish the Pirates in the first and said, "It had the makings of what would have been a really good game." During the delays, Bettis played catch indoors, but since he didn't throw with game intensity, he can start Wednesday at Boston.
• Righty reliever Jason Motte (right shoulder strain) threw a clean inning Sunday for Triple-A Albuquerque against New Orleans. Motte was scheduled to pitch again Monday at Omaha, provided the weather holds. If all goes well, Weiss said Motte is a candidate to be activated during the Boston series, which starts Tuesday.