PHOENIX — Adrian Gonzalez is getting closer to swinging a bat, but it seems unlikely he will play in any spring games for the Dodgers before heading off to play for Team Mexico in the World Baseball Classic.
Gonzalez has been sidelined in camp with right elbow tendinitis, or tennis elbow, and was prevented from swinging as a precaution. He has been able to do conditioning work but hasn’t taken ground balls nor swung a bat. Manager Dave Roberts said Gonzalez could do some soft toss and/or tee work in the next few days.
"Now he's not feeling anything, so he's ramping it up. I still think he'll be ready for the Classic," Roberts said.
Gonzalez is expected to leave Dodgers camp next Monday, March 6 to join Mexico, along with teammates Sergio Romo and Alex Verdugo. But first Gonzalez has to be medically cleared by the Dodgers training staff, which leaves little time to play in any games with the Dodgers before leaving.
“If he continues to progress — with Adrian anything is possible — we're open. For me, it's on the training staff. Once I get clearance from them, then we can plug him in,” Roberts said. ”Right now I don't see it, but if it works, great.”
Roberts said he is okay with Gonzalez playing in the WBC even if he doesn’t play with the Dodgers first, provided the medical staff clears him.
"With Adrian he's a different player,” Roberts said. “He's got a very good feel for his own body.”
Mexico is in Pool D, which will play its games in Jalisco, Mexico, with a first game on March 9 against Italy. Rob Segedin is on Team Italia, and will leave to join them on Sunday.
Kiké Hernandez will leave to join Team Puerto Rico, also in Pool D, on Monday. Puerto Rico’s first game is against Venezuela in Jalisco on March 10.
Ike Davis, a non-roster invitee to Dodgers camp, left after Sunday’s game to join Team Israel. They are in Pool A, which plays in Seoul. Israel’s first game is March 6 against Korea.