An exhibition game between the Los Angeles Dodgers and Team Australia almost proved costly as one of the Dodgers starters was removed from the game. The Dodgers went on to win the game, 4-2, behind the strength of right fielder Yasiel Puig, who launched a two-run home run to tie the game in the eighth.
However, according to Dylan Hernandez of the LA Times, first baseman Adrian Gonzalez came out of the game with a minor issue:
Adrian Gonzalez came out of the game with tightness in his lower back.
— Dylan Hernandez (@dylanohernandez) March 20, 2014
Gonzalez had yet to miss any time this spring with any injuries and losing him would prove costly for the Dodger lineup; however, it seems as if the move was more precautionary than anything.
According to the official Dodgers’ Twitter account, the 31-year-old likely won’t miss any time from the issue:
Adrian Gonzalez says he will be alright and expects to be available for the #OpeningSeries.
— Los Angeles Dodgers (@Dodgers) March 20, 2014
The Dodgers are a day away from the opening game of a two-game series with the Arizona Diamondbacks and could use Gonzalez’s bat in the middle of their order. They’re already down a starting outfielder because Carl Crawford remained in Arizona for the birth of his child. Not to mention, outfielder Matt Kemp has yet to recover from ankle surgery and won’t be ready for the start of the season. Gonzalez, along with Puig and Hanley Ramirez, provide the pop in the Dodgers’ lineup.
It could be that the stiffness stems a bit from the 17-hour flight from Los Angeles to Sydney and a bit of jet lag. To combat the long flight and jet lag, the Dodgers gave the players a set of instructions that included moving around on the plane and also provided them with a special LED light that is used to aid the body’s internal clock. Once the Dodgers play their two games, it’ll be another 15-hour flight back home, but Gonzalez will have some time to rest before they begin to play meaningful games again.
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