Last week the Los Angeles Dodgers made a necessary but somewhat unprecedented decision. The end result was Adrian Gonzalez being placed on the disabled list for the first time in his 14-year career.
Gonzalez appeared in 1,833 games before going inactive. Ultimately, right forearm/elbow trouble and aggravated disc in his back proved too much to overcome. Gonzalez was officially put on the 10-day DL with right elbow soreness.
The Dodgers were sensitive to the veteran first baseman’s accomplishment, which prompted Gonzalez to approach the club to discuss a potential DL stint.
Along with explaining his broaching of the topic, Gonzalez added his focus was not on the amount of days he’ll remain on the disabled list, but how his body responds. Dodgers manager Dave Roberts relayed the same sentiment Tuesday.
“Adrian is on the slow program,” Roberts said Tuesday afternoon. “He’s getting a massage, relaxing the mind and body. He’s recuperating right now. When he’s ready to do baseball activities, he’ll be back. Right now, I like this little program.”
While Gonzalez and the Dodgers intended to slow play his recovery, they maintained the possibility of accelerating a return. That point has arrived. Andrew Toles suffered a torn ACL and is expected to undergo season-ending surgery in two weeks.
“The slow program got a little quicker,” Roberts said Wednesday of the revised plan. “We were going take the calendar out of it, and if there was some unforeseen injury, we’d speed it up. Unfortunately, that’s where we’re at. Adrian is going ramp up a little bit.”
Even with that, Roberts does not anticipate Gonzalez joining the team on the first day he’s eligible to be reinstated, which is Monday, May 15.
Gonzalez hit .255/.327/.309 with a .284 wOBA and 76 wRC+ in 29 games. He had 11 RBI and five doubles were Gonzalez’s only extra-base hits. Gonzalez’s .635 on-base plus slugging percentage is on pace to be the lowest of his career.
In his absence the Dodgers turned to Cody Bellinger, after the organization’s top prospect began his MLB career exclusively playing left field. Bellinger is now expected to once again assume left-field duties.