Colorado Rockies right fielder Carlos Gonzalez insisted he left Friday night’s spring training game against San Diego only as a precaution after experiencing pain in his surgically repaired left knee.
Gonzalez exited after striking out in the top of the fourth. The two-time All-Star said he felt "fatigue" in the knee during the day, and it got worse when he had to stop quickly and throw home an inning earlier after catching Will Middlebrooks’ fly ball.
"When I hit the brakes on that fly ball and threw the ball to the plate, that’s when you put a lot of pressure on your knees," Gonzalez said. "But nothing major."
But the tweak presents concerns as Gonzalez has played in only 180 of a possible 324 games the past two seasons. He had season-ending surgery in August to repair a patella tendon.
"I don’t think it’s right at the site where he had surgery," manager Walt Weiss said. "I’m not concerned. We’re being overly cautious."
Gonzalez had a broken-bat RBI groundout in his first at-bat against San Diego ace James Shields in the Padres’ 7-5 victory. He’s hitting .333 this spring.
"You feel great in the offseason, but when you start putting a lot of pressure on your knees and legs, of course you’re going to feel a little pain," Gonzalez said. "I don’t think it’s anything major. Just a little fatigue."