Rockies slugger didn't advance in '12; Arenado declines, citing fatigue
By Daniel Kramer
DENVER -- Carlos Gonzalez will be representing the Rockies in tonight's T-Mobile Home Run Derby at Petco Park in San Diego (8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT on ESPN and simulcast on MLB.com).
On Thursday, three days after he was selected via player vote to his third All-Star Game, Gonzalez was among eight tabbed for the annual slugfest. Gonzalez, who had 19 homers in the first half, is the No. 7 seed and will face No. 2 seed Todd Frazier, the defending champion, in the first round.
"We're all professional hitters and we know how to hit the ball out of the ballpark," Gonzalez said. "Whoever gets hot, whoever does well, whoever feels better that day, I think is going to win it."
This is Gonzalez's second Derby appearance and first since 2012, when he didn't make it out of the first round after hitting just four. He was also selected in 2013, but had to pull out days before after spraining his right middle finger.
That event was under a similar format that was just installed to MLB's event last year, which features a time limit for players to attempt as many homers in a designated period.
"It's exhausting," Gonzalez said. "You've got to take a lot of swings. I like the new thing they have going on now that you have more time, you have more swings. I think it's all about getting in the rhythm. When I get in a rhythm, I can put the ball in the seats for a while."
Fatigue was Nolan Arenado's decisive factor for not participating. He said MLB Players Association officials reached out to gauge his interest last month, but he wanted to first ensure he was selected to the All-Star team before committing.
"Once I made the team, I just focused on figuring out, I don't know, I just wasn't 100 percent sure and they needed to know right away," Arenado said Thursday. "I didn't want to hold them or make them wait and give them like a 'No,' so I just said: 'No, it's OK. If some other guys are ready to answer you right now, then go ahead and pick them.' I just didn't want to delay it and then say no."
Here is the full set of rules:
• Single-elimination tournament in which the winner of each matchup advances and the loser of each matchup is eliminated.
• If the second batter hits more home runs than the first batter in any matchup, he will be declared the winner and not attempt to hit additional home runs.
• Four minutes per batter for each round. Clock starts with the release of the first pitch. In the first round and semifinals, each batter is entitled to one 45-second "time out." In the finals, each batter is entitled to two 45-second "time-outs."
• Thirty seconds of bonus time will be awarded for two home runs that each equal or exceed 440 feet.
• Ties in any round will be broken by a 60-second swing-off with no stoppage of time or additional time added. If a tie remains after the swing-off, batters will engage in successive three-swing swing-offs until there is a winner.
Distances and exit velocity during the event and in the player profiles below come courtesy of Statcast™.
Daniel Kramer is a reporter for MLB.com based in Denver. Follow him on Twitter at @DKramer_. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.