As the Los Angeles Dodgers begin the unofficial second half of the 2021 season with a road series against the Colorado Rockies, Victor Gonzalez has joined Low-A Rancho Cucamonga for the start of a rehab assignment.
Gonzalez is expected to appear out of the bullpen for the Quakes in Friday’s game against the Inland Empires 66ers (L.A. Angels affiliate). He has been on the 10-day injured list since July 6 due to plantar fasciitis in his left foot.
The roster move came one day after Gonzalez struggled as an opener against the Miami Marlins, allowing one run in one inning of work.
On the season Gonzalez is 3-1 with a 2.57 ERA and 1.10 WHIP in 36 games (one start). Last year he issued just two walks in 20.1 innings pitched, but has seen a spike this season to 15 free passes over 28 innings thus far.
“I think command hasn’t been consistent,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said earlier this month. “Command isn’t what it has been, certainly last year, so I think that’s kind of what it is. … He doesn’t physically look tired.
“There’s still the characteristics and velocity to the fastball. I do think there’s something to the fact that the command isn’t there. There’s been one lefty (on the Dodgers’ active roster) at times this year, so we have gone to him a lot.
“Relative to other left-handed relievers, I think he’s right there in the middle, but yeah, we go to him.”
As the Dodgers look to catch the San Francisco Giants in the National League West standings, the team will need to hope health will improve from what’s been the case for much of the season so far.
In addition to Gonzalez, Clayton Kershaw, Corey Knebel, Jimmy Nelson and Edwin Uceta are pitchers the Dodgers are counting on returning from the IL in the coming weeks.
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