Adrian Gonzalez acknowledged what many already suspected.
Gonzalez said he should’ve gone on the disabled list to start the season. He’s been playing through a herniated disc, and his performance has considerably declined.
“I’ve just got broken parts, man.” Adrian Gonzalez is hurting, but he still believes he can help the Dodgers. https://t.co/Qb0SkANIeN
— Andy McCullough (@McCulloughTimes) May 4, 2017
Father Time combated Gonzalez last season, but this year it’s reached a new level. Once one of the game’s best power bats, Gonzalez has yet to homer. In fact, he hasn’t had an extra base hit in over a week.
Dave Roberts said Gonzalez hasn’t been the same player. And apparently, he aggravated a herniated disc injury, McCullough writes. Gonzalez hasn’t gone on the DL in his 14-year career.
Cody Bellinger’s emergence doesn’t help Gonzalez’s case either. Bellinger is fighting to stay in the majors, and the Dodgers have been better with him in the lineup thus far. His natural position is first base, but with two years remaining on Gonzalez’s deal, Bellinger is blocked.
The Dodgers could explore trading Gonzalez if he’s healthy, though it’s rare to see contenders move clubhouse leaders midseason. Additionally, his health and contract don’t make him much of an asset. From Gonzalez’s perspective, a DL stint could permanently cut into his playing time – or cost him his starting job altogether.
Los Angeles acquired Gonzalez in one of the largest trades in recent memory. Boston shipped Josh Beckett, Carl Crawford and Gonzalez to L.A. for salary relief. The Dodgers trailed the NL West by three games at the time of the deal, and new ownership wanted to make a splash. Gonzalez has become a fan favorite and the team’s premier middle-of-the-order bat during its recent four-year run.