LOS ANGELES — Dodgers first baseman Adrian Gonzalez is still dealing with back issues that have sidelined him twice on the disabled list. He’s essentially day-to-day now, putting his availability for the postseason roster up in the air.
“The challenge for us with Adrian is to use him off the bench in a meaningful pinch-hit spot, but also get him enough starts to keep him current,” manager Dave Roberts said.
Gonzalez missed a total of 67 games on two disabled list stints because of a herniated disc in his back in 2017. Those were his first two career trips to the DL after averaging 159 games played for the previous 11 seasons.
Now, some days he is fine but others the back flared up, making it hard for him to get consistent at-bats against major league pitching.
“This season has been a frustrating one for him, as someone he’s posted for so many years, and now the body is not letting do what he wants to do,” Roberts said. “I can’t say, and Adrian can’t say where we’re going to be at the end of the month.”
Gonzalez is hitting .248/.291/.349 with two home runs and 16 doubles in 64 games this season. Since returning from his second DL trip, he is 12-for-53 with five doubles and a home run in 15 games, hitting .226/.250/.377.
Pedro Baez, who has allowed seven runs while recording two outs in his last three appearances, including pitching back-to-back nights on Monday and Tuesday, is unavailable to pitch on Wednesday, Roberts said.
Brandon Morrow is also down for the series finale, missing his fourth straight game while dealing with back soreness. “We’re trying to get ahead of it,” Roberts said.
The Dodgers plan to stick with a six-man rotation for now, but Roberts wouldn’t say exactly for how long.
Brandon McCarthy will start a minor league rehab game on Saturday or Sunday. It will be a playoff game, likely with Class-A Rancho Cucamonga. Scott Kazmir, who pitched three scoreless innings in relief on Monday, might pitch in relief in one of the weekend games with the Quakes, Roberts said.