PHOENIX -- Rockies outfielder Carlos Gonzalez's left knee tendinitis is the official reason he has been placed on the 15-day disabled list Sunday, but an accumulation of rough breaks in a difficult season could be blamed as well.
The hope still is for Gonzalez to return before season's end, but a lot of that depends on what turns out as the best treatment plan for the tendinitis. The Rockies recalled first baseman Ben Paulsen from Triple-A Colorado Springs in a corresponding move.
Gonzalez has been beaten down by a year that began with an appendectomy in January, a benign tumor in his left index finger that began affecting him in January and was removed in June, a left calf contusion and a twisted right ankle two weeks ago.
Add to that the fact he and his wife, Indonesia, welcomed twins born at 30 weeks in June, and just brought one of them home a few days ago, and it's more than typical baseball pains.
"CarGo is dealing with a lot right now," Rockies head athletic trainer Keith Dugger said. "It's multiple injuries. You can see mental stress on him. You can see physical stress. Basically there comes a point in time when he's not performing at the rate he wants to. He feels bad. Walt [Weiss, the manager] feels bad putting him in the lineup.
"We made the decision, not just me making the decision, that he needs to take time off. He's going back home. We're going to get that ankle right. We know he's got patella tendinitis he's been dealing with. We know that thing isn't going away overnight or even in a week, and we'll get other opinions. But, again, we don't need other opinions. We know how to handle this situation."
The question with the tendinitis is if the normal rest and rehab will improve it, or will Gonzalez and the Rockies treat it with other techniques, such as plasma-rich platelets or stem-cell treatment. The problem with those is they would likely end his year.
"There are multiple ways of handling that, but when these guys sign a contract, it's for the full year," Dugger said. "Unfortunately, that's part of our job to understand. This is a business and a sport. If we think he's going to get worse or at greater risk for injuring himself, then we're taking him out just like we did the other night. Mentally, he couldn't handle it, and that's because physically his body is breaking down. He's had a rough go."
The left knee tendinitis showed up last year, and was an underlying concern when a strained ligament in his right middle finger was scuttling the second half of his season.
With the somewhat chronic nature of the injury, it could be that Gonzalez will have to adjust his in-season and offseason daily routines to control the problem. It's questionable how realistic an addition to his routine would have been this year, when he was spending pregame and postgame time at the hospital with his wife and his child, and when he had multiple other injuries.
The condition of the knee hasn't been consistent, and that factor has made deciding whether to play him in a given game or place him on the DL a difficult one for Weiss and the Rockies.
"We felt like if it got to a point where it wasn't getting any better or it was defeating the purpose, sending him out there, then we'd put him on the DL," Weiss said. "We'll give him some time and maybe his knee will calm down.
"I'd like to see him back. I don't like to see players shut down the last part of the season. It's important to be out there playing and going into the offseason with a healthy mindset and some confidence, as opposed to going to the offseason thinking about rehab. Hopefully, we see him back on the field before it's all over with."
Thomas Harding is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his 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.