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Dodgers’ Adrian Gonzalez Preferred Pinch-Hit Role Over Starting

Apr 5, 2017; Los Angeles, CA, USA: Los Angeles Dodgers first baseman Adrian Gonzalez (23) celebrates after scoring in the first inning against the San Diego Padres during a MLB baseball game at Dodger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Dave Roberts told reporters on Sunday that, after speaking with Adrian Gonzalez, he decided that it would be best to focus on giving the Veteran reps as a pinch-hitter. The main reason for this is centered around Gonzalez’s health and his ability to help the team.

Later on, Andy McCullough of the LA Times tweeted out that Adrian Gonzalez was the one that actually told Dave Roberts that he preferred to pinch-hit instead of start.

If this isn’t the definition of class and putting the team before the individual, then I don’t know what is. Adrian Gonzalez has been a consistent starter in the majors for over ten years now and deserves every opportunity to get on the field and show that he can still perform. For him to recognize that starting him is too much a liability to the team, and maybe his health, is vital to the success of this Dodgers team. This is especially important considering the team recently lost 15 out of 16 games and is only catching their stride again, having won their last four out of five games.

This doesn’t even have to do with keeping Cody Bellinger in the lineup. If Gonzalez felt like he was capable of starting and making a positive impact, then the Dodgers could easily move Bellinger to left field to make sure that his bat stays in the lineup. This seems to me like it’s more about Adrian Gonzalez’s health and how well he can perform.

This now really puts the stress on Dave Roberts to figure out who is the best option for left field. I’m sure you know this list like the back of your hand by now, but if you don’t, it includes Curtis Granderson, Joc Pederson, Andre Ethier, Kiké Hernandez, and Alex Verdugo.

Here is how those players stack up against each other in the month of September:

September AB BA OBP SLG
Curtis Granderson 39 .103 .239 .103
Andre Ethier 20 .300 .333 .500
Kiké Hernandez 23 .217 .217 .261
Joc Pederson 13 .077 .250 .077
Alex Verdugo 16 .188 .278 .375

What do you think about the decision to focus on using Adrian Gonzalez as a pinch hitter and his preference of it? Let us know in the comments below!

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Written by Alex Perez

Whittier College Alumnus.
Editor In Chief of Dodgers Nation.
Lifelong Dodgers fan.

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  1. Andre has shown us he can still be productive. Start him every day for the next week to make sure he can hold up to the vigor! He deserves the chance!

  2. Gonzo’s class but he shouldnt
    Start. Needs to work on getting
    Healthy.long ball bellinger
    Deserves to be at 1st starting…
    And Eithier should start in
    Left, with his vet. Leadership.

    GO DODGERS !!!!
    Win your 6th championship!!!

  3. Gonzo is, and always has been the epitome of class. He realizes that his place as a pinch hitter is of greater value to the team than he as a starter. I’ve always respected Gonzo and the intangibles that he brings to the team as a class veteran. He will do well in clutch hitting situations.

    As far as left field placement, it certainly appears to me that Ethier is the best choice, however others can be inserted there as the need arises. The two odd men out are Granderson and Pederson.

  4. Seems a shame we never mention Toles. He was to be the LFer for 2017 and beyond. We won’t see him again until 2018. For now, I’d play Joc Pederson in CF. He’s solid defensively and, if he finds his swing, the best upside offensively. If not, then leave him off the playoff roster. I’d also play Granderson in LF and see if he can find a better result than homer or strikeout. Pederson in CF gives Taylor some rest because I think this year he’s played more than any year in his career. Either Pederson or Granderson will be the playoff LFer with Ethier the vet lefty pinch hitter and, sadly, Gonzales off the roster.

  5. Adrian, knows what he can and can’t do. Pinch hitter I’d logical choice, he has great value in the dugout coaching the younger players.
    I would like to see Dodger win WAS, I want Adrain to be there.

  6. I was just thinking about this. When I saw that Utley was at first today, that was a signal that Gonzo isn’t healthy. I hope that he can get enough pinch hit AB’s to stay locked in. Can he even take BP?

    I like Granderson for his glove, but his bat has gone ice cold. If Ethier can stay healthy, that would be a great scenario—barely plays in the regular season, becomes a post-season hero.

    • As soon as the dodgers placed Granderson in the lineup they started losing. He’s only hitting in the one hundreds. He needs to be pulled now. Hopefully there’s still time for them to get back on track. But it will not happen with Granderson in the lineup.

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