Veteran outfielder Carlos Gonzalez made a quick impression on manager Joe Maddon in his Cubs debut Monday.
In his team’s 8-1 win, Gonzalez went 1-for-3 with a walk and made a crucial diving catch on the warning track to save at least one and maybe two runs.
“A veteran with a great presence and a nice resume,” Maddon said on the Laurence Holmes Show on Tuesday afternoon. “I know his year didn’t start out well with the Indians, but I was watching him on video and believe me, there’s still a lot left in the tank. That (diving catch), watch that play on video yesterday — the route that he ran was spectacular. It was a straight line.
“It was beautiful. Once he showed that, I know he’s fine. He’s ready to rock and roll.”
Gonzalez, 33, was released by the Indians recently after hitting .210 with two homers, seven RBIs and a .558 OPS in 117 plate appearances across 30 games. The Cubs are hoping he can provide a quality bat off the bench and make spot starts, and Maddon liked what he saw initially.
“The hitting side of things, I know he’s still continually working on different things to maybe increase contact on certain pitches,” Maddon said. “But he’ll figure that out. I like the guy.”