LOS ANGELES — Adrian Gonzalez was placed on the 10-day disabled list on Friday with right elbow soreness, the first time the Dodgers first baseman has been placed on the DL in his major league career.
The move made room for the activation of Joc Pederson from the disabled list, after missing 10 games with a groin strain.
Gonzalez is hitting .255/.327/.309 with no home runs. five doubles, and 11 RBI in 29 games this season. He missed over two weeks during spring training with elbow tendinitis, and is also dealing with a herniated disc in his back.
The club has been trying to manage Gonzalez’s health all season.
“He’s not 100%,” manager Dave Roberts said Tuesday. “With that right forearm area, and the back, you’re talking about torque, you’re talking about extension. When those are compromised, it’s tough to be consistent.”
Gonzalez was the only Dodger to play in all 29 games this season, including 23 starts. He has been one of the most durable players in the majors since his first full season in 2006, averaging 159 games played and 154 starts in the last 11 years.
Gonzalez said he approached #Dodgers about going on DL. He isn't sure he'll be back in 10 days but expects his power to return when healthy.— Bill Shaikin (@BillShaikin) May 5, 2017
Gonzo on how long he'll be on DL: "We're not looking at it as 10 days as when my body is right and when I can take a swing w/out any pain."— David Vassegh (@THEREAL_DV) May 6, 2017
Since the start of 2012, the only players in the majors with more games played than Gonzalez (816) are Robinson Cano (824) and Kyle Seager (819).
“With a player like Adrian, for a guy who’s never been on the disabled list for his entire career, it says a lot about the character and the will to want to post,” Roberts said Tuesday. “In the conversations I’ve had with him, he feels like he can still go out there. I have to continue to count on that, but we’ll see.”
The move of Gonzalez to the disabled list opens the door for an elongated major league stint for Cody Bellinger, the Dodgers top prospect. Bellinger had a productive first nine games, hitting .303/.361/.576 with two home runs.
Bellinger played eight of his nine major league games in left field, and one at first base, his natural position. Roberts was a guest with Casey Stern on MLB Network Radio earlier Friday, and said the club was leaning toward placing Gonzalez on the DL.
Roberts says #Dodgers are "leaning towards putting (Gonzalez) on the DL, not officially but I think that's where we're going to go"— MLB Network Radio (@MLBNetworkRadio) May 5, 2017
Roberts "with Adrian potentially on the DL, it will give (Bellinger) a chance to be out there essentially every day at 1B" #Dodgers— MLB Network Radio (@MLBNetworkRadio) May 5, 2017
Pederson missed 10 games while on the disabled list. During his absence, Dodgers center fielders — 28 plate appearances for Andrew Toles, 16 for Kiké Hernandez — were 10-for-41 with two home runs, hitting .244/.273/.386.