Healthy CarGo expects big season

Healthy CarGo expects big season

Healthy CarGo expects big season
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- It was clear to see last year that a semi-healthy Carlos Gonzalez can help carry a team's offensive load. But the problem is, the Rockies have seen what a fully healthy Gonzalez is capable of.

They'd take the former, but they'd sure like to see the latter this season.

"I feel great," Gonzalez said. "That's what matters. I feel really fast, and I feel great."

Gonzalez was hampered in 2011 by a nagging right wrist injury but still hit .295 with 26 homers and 92 RBIs in 127 games. That would appease the outfielder if not for the gaudy numbers -- .336 average, 117 RBIs and 34 homers -- he posted in a breakout 2010 campaign.

"Of course last year I had a great year, too, hitting over .290 with 90 RBIs and 20 homers, but when you feel healthy, I think I can do a lot of things, and that's what I'm planning to do this year," Gonzalez said. "Stay on the field and play 160 games -- just stay out there every single day, and I know I'm going to have a chance to do a lot of special things on the field."

Gonzalez figures to factor prominently into the Rockies' potent lineup, along with two-time National League All-Star Troy Tulowitzki, veteran Todd Helton and the newly acquired Michael Cuddyer. Gonzalez will likely play left field and form one of the best 3-4 combinations in all of baseball, ahead of Tulowitzki in the lineup.

"In Minnesota, you had [Joe] Mauer and [Justin] Morneau, and in the years we were good, that was who people nationally centered on," said Cuddyer, whom the Rockies acquired this offseason after he spent 11 seasons with the Twins. "Here, you have Tulo and CarGo that the nation centers on."