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Jim Tracy: Carlos Gonzalez Will Play Left Field This Season

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Colorado Rockies manager Jim Tracy announced on Friday that outfielder Carlos Gonzalez will play left field from now on, Troy Renck of the Denver Post reports. Gonzalez has proven versatile in his ability to play all three outfield positions since he first appeared in the majors with the Oakland Athletics in 2008. While he has played more games in center over his career, Gonzalez moved ever more over to left field when he hit the show with the Rockies in 2009.

Gonzalez won a Gold Glove in 2010, but advanced fielding metrics aren't kind to him at most positions. Using Ultimate Zone Rating (UZR) from FanGraphs, we see that he was a negative defender in both center and right fields in 2010, but a 3.6 defender in left field. There is still much work to be done on improving advanced defensive metrics, so those numbers are usually taken with a grain of salt when using the "eye test" on Gonzalez. Still, Gonzalez's range is what makes him a better choice to play left.

This sets up the outfield as CarGo in left field, Dexter Fowler in center and Seth Smith in right field. Ryan Spilborghs will be the backup outfielder. On day's Fowler is off, CarGo can slide into center and have Spilborghs take left field.