For different players throughout the Los Angeles Dodgers organization, Spring Training is approached in various manners. For the young prospects, it’s an opportunity to put their talent on display in front of the coaching staff.
Others, such as, Yasmani Grandal and Justin Turner, are recovering from offseason surgery and are using camp to round into form ahead of Opening Day. For veterans like Adrian Gonzalez, Spring Training is time to get repetitions defensively and offensively.
Gonzalez is coming off a third consecutive season in which he appeared in at least 156 games. That was in spite of a nagging back injury/nerve issue that affected his lower body and swing.
It’s a reoccurring issue Gonzalez has suffered from since 2010, though managed to sustain an impressive level of play. The first baseman missed Saturday’s workout at Camelback Ranch as his neck flared up.
According to Ken Gurnick of MLB.com, Gonzalez has a bulging disk in his neck that’s a matter of managing the pain:
“It’s the same thing I’ve been dealing with and we had it looked at over the offseason and we know exactly what it is,” said Gonzalez, the most consistent bat in the Dodgers lineup since he arrived in 2012. “There’s not much we can do about it. It’s a bulging disk and it’s too risky to operate. Just pain management. I wasn’t smart with the base-running drill. I have to stay away from things that irritate it.”
Gonzalez, who will turn 34 years old in May, again turned to boxing as part of his offseason routine. He’s relied on the activity as a means of improving and maintaining his conditioning.
Gonzalez batted .275/.350/.480 with 28 home runs and 90 RBIs. He’s under contract through the 2018 season.