Having twice gone on the disabled list this season due to bulging discs in his back, Adrian Gonzalez is still dealing with discomfort. Cody Bellinger’s sprained ankle pressed Gonzalez into a larger role than expected upon his return from the 60-day DL.
He started in eight consecutive games before a day off, and was removed after six innings on Aug. 28 due to what was described as “just a little” back tightness. He’s appeared in five of 10 games, making four starts, since that point.
Though, that in some part is tied to Bellinger’s return and games in which the Dodgers faced a left-handed starter. “The challenge for us with Adrian is to use him off the bench in a meaningful pinch-hit spot,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said.
“But also get him enough starts to keep him current. This season has been a frustrating one for him, as someone he’s posted for so many years, and now the body is not letting do what he wants to do.”
While the Dodgers have the month to evaluate options for their postseason roster, Gonzalez’s latest trouble may prevent him from being included. “I can’t say, and Adrian can’t say where we’re going to be at the end of the month,” Roberts explained.
The veteran first baseman is essentially day-to-day at this juncture. Gonzalez only managed to appear in 20 games before he was forced to go back on the disabled list. His second stint was much more prolonged, as Gonzalez missed 55 games.
He played in 1,833 games over 14 seasons prior to the first DL stint of his career. Gonzalez is batting .248/.291/.349 with 16 doubles, two home runs and 29 RBI in 64 games this season.
The 35-year-old is under contract through the 2018 season.