LOS ANGELES — When Adrian Gonzalez hit a double and a home run in Tuesday night’s game, it looked like the Adrian Gonzalez of old.
When he woke up Wednesday morning, though, it was the same old problem. Gonzalez said his back tightened up Wednesday “a little less than before.” But it was enough for Gonzalez and the Dodgers to decide that his season is over. Gonzalez will shut it down and is out of consideration for a spot on the postseason roster (something that already appeared to be a long shot).
“It’s not like a full-on injury but the fact is they have to make a decision,” Gonzalez said. “It’s easier to just know that with the way the season has gone where I’ve had a number of setbacks, you don’t want to go into the postseason, play a game and then the next day come back, have a setback and they have to make a decision whether they have to make a move or be down for the day. There’s just too many question marks there.”
One of the steadiest performers in baseball over the past decade, Gonzalez had never been on the DL before this season and played at least 156 games in each of the previous 11 seasons. But this year, he has been able to play only 71 games (including just two starts in the past three weeks). Gonzalez went on the DL twice and received epidural injections on more than one occasion to treat the pain and lack of flexibility resulting from herniated discs in his back.
“It’s obviously been his most difficult year of his career, very emotional for him trying to fight through and get through injury,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said. “Today, as I talked to him and seeing how his back is and how it’s feeling, he’s very disappointed. But I think right now as it stands we’re going to shut him down so we don’t cause any more damage. Get him ready for next year. We expect him to respond to rest.
“If something unforeseen does happen to active guys right now then we might try to revisit Adrian. But right now as it stands, we’re going to shut him down.”
Gonzalez won’t travel to Colorado for the Dodgers’ final series of the regular season this weekend and said he doesn’t expect to travel with the team during the playoffs either. If there is an injury during the playoffs that would make it necessary, Gonzalez would have to ramp up from scratch. He said his plan is to “lay low, stay in physical shape” but not do any baseball activities.
“Rest, I think, is really the No. 1 thing,” he said….