Gonzalez scratched, insists it isn’t serious

The Rockies scratched outfielder Carlos Gonzalez from Wednesday’s lineup because of sore quadriceps on both legs. On a day when closer Huston Street’s shoulder is the talk of the day, the last thing the Rockies need is an injury to another key player.

Not to worry, said Gonzalez, who was replaced by veteran non-roster invitee Jay Payton in left field.

Gonzalez, who has hit .348 with a .400 on-base percentage and has led hitting coach Don Baylor to say he’s ready if the season were to begin now, said he was merely sore from a training session. Gonzalez is planning to make the bus trip to Peoria, Ariz., for Thursday’s game against the Mariners.

“It was from lifting, my legs got tight, so it’s no big deal — it will feel better tomorrow,” Gonzalez said.

Gonzalez, 24, said the confidence he gained from a strong second half of last season and a 10-for-17 performance in the 3-games-to-1 loss to the Phillies in last year’s National League Division Series has carried over to this spring. In addition to the high average and OBP, Gonzalez has three doubles, four RBIs, two walks and a steal against one strikeout.

“I’m feeling good at the plate, running and everything,” Gonzalez said. “I have a lot more confidence in msyelf. Everybody believes in me. That gives me a lot of motivation.”

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