SCOTSDALE, Ariz. -- Two days before his departure for the World Baseball Classic, Carlos Gonzalez is showing "coast-to-coast" power, as manager Walt Weiss put it, hitting a deep double down the left-field line in his first at-bat Friday to score two runs, then launching a solo shot beyond the right-field fence to help the Rockies secure a 5-2 win.
"That's when you become a good hitter, when you use the whole field and you use it for power," Gonzalez said. "Today was a good day. Even when I struck out in my first at-bat, I was hitting the ball good. It was lefty-lefty."
There was no argument from Weiss, who already has Gonzalez in Saturday's lineup, his last day to play with the Rockies before joining Team Venezuela, potentially through the March 19 championship game in San Francisco.
"Home runs are always good," Weiss said.
Gonzalez is hitting .333 in four Cactus League games, with a .750 slugging percentage. Three of his four hits have gone for extra bases.
"I'm seeing the ball well," Gonzalez said. "Trying to recognize [pitches], because it's been a while since seeing pitches. So far it's been good. I feel healthy and strong. When I feel like that I can continue to work hard."
Gonzalez' influence on the team has never been stronger, and he shows no signs of tempering his team-first spirit, even when it comes at the cost of his own performance.
"As a player it's always tough when things are going bad," Gonzalez said, referring to last year's rough season for the Rockies. "Part of the reason is because you worry so much about your team. You put a lot of pressure on yourself, and you feel like you have to do more to make your team better to win ball games.
"It's about every single guy, not about one guy. One guy's not going to make the team better. That's when you need your teammates to do a great job. Obviously the young guys [on the Rockies roster] in the second half, they did a great job. But our team was just bad. We didn't win ball games. At the end of the day, that's what you want to do. I feel like I have a lot of responsibility on this team to do well and play well for everybody."