"Carlos Gonzalez had to leave the club last night," manager Jim Tracy said Saturday. "He was informed after the game that his grandfather passed away, and so he returned to Venezuela for the funeral. We have placed him on the bereavement list, which means he will be eligible on Tuesday."
Gonzalez was noticeably somber Friday night as he quietly prepared some things from his locker for the club to pack and bring on the upcoming road trip, though the news of his departure and the reasons for it had not yet been released.
Under the bereavement list guidelines, Gonzalez must miss at least three games and no more than seven. Tracy seemed hopeful that Gonzalez would be able to meet the Rockies when they travel to New York for a four-game set with the Mets in the early part of the upcoming week, but the details were not all in place when Tracy spoke, and the club will likely support giving Gonzalez the time he needs to be with his family.
"What I didn't know when he left my office [Friday night], I had no idea about the arrangements or any of that type of stuff," Tracy said, uncertain what day the funeral was scheduled for at this point. "He needed to get going, and flights aren't the easiest thing to get into Venezuela. I think the fortunate thing is when he comes back, it'll be a little easier flying to New York from Venezuela than someplace else we could be playing."
Gonzalez has been a rock in the middle of Colorado's lineup, and he's ranked in the National League's top five in RBIs, runs, average, hits, slugging average, multi-hit games and total bases. He was voted by the players' ballot to his first All-Star Game this season.
Gonzalez was replaced on the Rockies' roster by outfielder Charlie Blackmon, who previously saw time with the big club in 2011.
Andrew Simon is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.