SAN FRANCISCO – Adrian Gonzalez has never been on the disabled list, a distinction of which he is justifiably proud.
But if that wasn’t the case, he probably would have spent at least 10 days on the DL already this month to deal with the tendinitis in his right forearm that has been bothering him since he reported to spring training. He did not swing a bat for two weeks in spring, starting up just in time to play in the World Baseball Classic.
Dodgers manager Dave Roberts acknowledged that the team is “managing it” by giving Gonzalez more down time. He did not start Thursday’s day game against a left-handed pitcher, the fifth time in the Dodgers’ first 23 games he has been out of the starting lineup – an unheard of rate for Gonzalez, who has played more games since 2006 than any other player.
“He’s used to playing every single day and when you have an injury I don’t know how forthright his is,” Roberts acknowledged. “I think the elbow is getting better. He’s getting more extension with that lead arm.”
The results don’t really show it. Eighty-two plate appearances into the season, Gonzalez is still looking for his first home run and has a .313 slugging percentage as a result. He has rarely hit a ball hard to the pull side and has been beaten frequently by fastballs.
But he insists “everything is mechanical” and his adjustments are “a work in progress.”
Asked if Gonzalez might be better served going to the DL, particularly with the shorter duration this season, Roberts said, “I don’t know.”
“I still think the presence of having Adrian in the lineup means something to other teams,” he said. “He’s not slugging like I know he will. But he’s still a presence.”
Gonzalez’s ability to avoid the DL all these years buys him some consideration, Roberts said. The team would have “a conversation” with him before making a move like that, Roberts said. That conversation has not been had.
“That’s a factor,” Roberts acknowledged. “With a veteran player, he deserves a conversation and it’s got to be clear it’s a situation where he’s hurting the ballclub and that has not been the case.
“He takes a lot of pride in posting every day for something that is just a nagging thing.”
IN AND OUT
The addition of Julio Urias gives the Dodgers a six-man rotation for now. Someone will eventually have to be bumped out – but it won’t be Alex Wood. The left-hander’s one-hit, six scoreless innings Wednesday night were enough to get another turn in the rotation, Roberts said.
“I think Alex has done everything he can to warrant being in the rotation,” Roberts said. “I don’t think it was a case coming out of spring training where he could or couldn’t do it or wasn’t able. It was more what fit well with our ballclub at that point in time. Obviously Rich’s health is a big factor.”
The idea of moving Hill to the bullpen when he does return remains a possibility.
“I can’t say with…