Our thoughts and prayers continue to go out to Alex Gonzalez and his family. I have two young children, and I can’t imagine what they’re going through right now:

Shortstop Alex Gonzalez is at home in Aragua, Venezuela with his hospitalized infant son, Johan, reportedly in critical condition.

Gonzalez won’t be in Chicago at all this weekend and his return to the team is uncertain. During his absence, veteran Juan Castro will play shortstop.

“Juan is a pretty good defensive player, but Alex Gonzalez is the best shortstop in baseball,” said manager Jerry Narron. Gonzalez also is hitting .313 and when the Reds were 4 for 25 with runners in scoring position during a three-game series in Arizona, Gonzalez had three of those hits.

Of Gonzalez, Narron said, “I haven’t talked with him (Friday), but I know Thursday he was real anxious to get home with his wife and family. I don’t know exact details, but let’s hope the child is OK.”

Indeed.