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.

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.

Vin Scully added to Ring of Honor

About The Author

News Desk

Gabe Burns is an award-winning journalist. He serves as a reporter and editor at the DodgersNation news desk. He additionally works as editor-in-chief of The Spectator, Valdosta State University's student paper. Gabe's work has been featured on a number of platforms, including Draft Breakdown and Pro Football Spot. His byline has been cited in media such as the New York Times, Los Angeles Times and Chicago Tribune. Aside from covering Dodgers baseball, Gabe enjoys watching the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Orlando Magic and Tampa Bay Lightning. He can be followed on Twitter at @GabeBurns_DN.

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