For the ninth-straight season in 2014, Los Angeles Dodgers first baseman Adrian Gonzalez played over 150 games. It wasn’t always pretty for Gonzalez, but he proved to be a commodity in an infield that lost Hanley Ramirez and Juan Uribe to injury, and catcher A.J. Ellis to multiple stints on the disabled list.
Gonzalez slumped through May and into June before turning his fortunes around at the plate, doing so well enough to finish with an MLB-best 116 RBIs and the Silver Slugger Award at first base. Entering his age-33 season, Gonzalez says he’s realized putting up big numbers is very much a marathon, via Dylan Hernandez of the LA Times:
I think when you get to a certain level, you understand it’s more of a process than a fight to get to certain places statistically,” he said.
Gonzalez was one of multiple Dodgers who worked out regularly at Chavez Ravine and spoke of the advantage of establishing an understanding with strength and conditioning coach Brandon McDaniel:
It’s a huge upside to have a guy who’s going to train you all season be the guy watching you,” Gonzalez said. “He knows my body, he knows what I did this off-season. He gets to know me. That way, in the season, he knows when to back off, he knows when we should put the foot on the pedal and do more weights.”
Along with working out at Dodger Stadium, Gonzalez was a regular at Freddie Roach’s gym, where boxer Manny Pacquiao trains.
On top of having Gonzalez under contract through the 2018 season, his remaining healthy moving forward, particularly in 2015, is of great importance now that the Dodger offense will be without the threats of Matt Kemp and Hanley Ramirez.
Gonzalez figures to not only face expectations of again being an RBI-hitter for the Dodgers, but also serving as protection for other batters in the lineup.
Dodgers 2015 FanFest