Assessing the impact of Carlos Gonzalez's return

Fantasy owners have been waiting for the real Carlos Gonzalez all season. (USATSI)
Fantasy owners have been waiting for the real Carlos Gonzalez all season. (USATSI)

After recovering from surgery on his finger, Carlos Gonzalez is set to make his return to the majors this Friday, with reporting he will make his return playing right field.

Gonzalez was off to a disastrous start to the season, with his .255/.307/.449 triple-slash line representing his worst numbers across the board since his rookie season. He had also already grounded into six double players, nearly matching his total of seven from a year ago. And things weren't going much better before the finger injury that ultimately sidelined him.

Gonzalez first injured his left index finger May 1, but he had just put the finishing touches on a .241/.293/.454 line in April, not far from his overall production. However, there are positive signs we can point to that might make Fantasy owners feel better about the return of one of their most coveted assets.

Gonzalez was actually a bit more productive during May than April, there wasn't as much substance behind his performance. Though he hit nearly 40 points lower in April, Gonzalez looked much more like the power hitter we've come to know in the first month than after. 46.2 percent of Gonzalez's hits in April went for extra bases compared to 39.1 percent in May, and he had a .213 ISO compared to a .183 mark in May.

The disappointing Gonzalez we got in April can be chalked up largely to bad luck. He was still providing the kind of power and production we wanted to see, but his .266 BABIP was 80 points lower than his career mark, which dragged his average down. 

The good news is, Gonzalez had three hits, including a home run, in his first two rehab starts. Fantasy owners have been disappointed not to get the player where were hoping to draft for the first 15 weeks of the season, but there is every reason to think his luck will turn now that this injury is behind him. 

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