Dave Roberts told reporters on Sunday that, after speaking with Adrian Gonzalez, he decided that it would be best to focus on giving the Veteran reps as a pinch-hitter. The main reason for this is centered around Gonzalez’s health and his ability to help the team.
Later on, Andy McCullough of the LA Times tweeted out that Adrian Gonzalez was the one that actually told Dave Roberts that he preferred to pinch-hit instead of start.
Dave Roberts planned to start Adrian Gonzalez tonight, but Gonzalez told Roberts he would prefer to pinch-hit.
— Andy McCullough (@ByMcCullough) September 17, 2017
If this isn’t the definition of class and putting the team before the individual, then I don’t know what is. Adrian Gonzalez has been a consistent starter in the majors for over ten years now and deserves every opportunity to get on the field and show that he can still perform. For him to recognize that starting him is too much a liability to the team, and maybe his health, is vital to the success of this Dodgers team. This is especially important considering the team recently lost 15 out of 16 games and is only catching their stride again, having won their last four out of five games.
This doesn’t even have to do with keeping Cody Bellinger in the lineup. If Gonzalez felt like he was capable of starting and making a positive impact, then the Dodgers could easily move Bellinger to left field to make sure that his bat stays in the lineup. This seems to me like it’s more about Adrian Gonzalez’s health and how well he can perform.
This now really puts the stress on Dave Roberts to figure out who is the best option for left field. I’m sure you know this list like the back of your hand by now, but if you don’t, it includes Curtis Granderson, Joc Pederson, Andre Ethier, Kiké Hernandez, and Alex Verdugo.
Here is how those players stack up against each other in the month of September:
What do you think about the decision to focus on using Adrian Gonzalez as a pinch hitter and his preference of it? Let us know in the comments below!
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