DENVER -- When Rockies fans took a peek at the lineup for Friday's series opener against the Dodgers, they saw a cornerstone of the offense absent: left fielder Carlos Gonzalez.
Manager Walt Weiss said he recently decided Gonzalez could use a day off to catch his breath and Friday looked like a smart choice. Gonzalez, a left-handed batter, has hit just .227 in his career against Dodgers southpaw Clayton Kershaw, who started the series opener for Los Angeles.
"He's been playing well," Weiss said. "He's been grinding. It's been a long time since he had a day, so I felt like it was his time."
This is only Gonzalez's third game off this year, the last coming in an April 23 home game against the Braves. In his place, switch-hitter Eric Young started in left field and hit leadoff.
Thomas Harding is a reporter for MLB.com. Ian McCue is an associate reporter for MLB.com. Read Harding's blog, Hardball in the Rockies, and follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.