It’s been a strange season for Dodgers first baseman Adrian Gonzalez, limited to just 71 games due to injury and ineffectiveness. Now, while his team plays in the World Series, the five-time All-Star is on vacation with his family in Europe.
Gonzalez last played on Sept. 26 and the Dodgers announced a day later that he had aggravated a back injury and was done for the year.
“We totally respect his decision,” Dodgers general manager Farhan Zaidi said per the Los Angeles Times. “He’s meant a lot to this organization. He’s been in constant contact with the front office, the players, the coaching staff, and [manager Dave Roberts], expressing his support. Everybody here knows he’s fully behind us.”
Gonzalez joined the Dodgers in a midseason trade in 2012 and has 101 home runs in 735 games for the club over six seasons.
“I text him almost every day,” third baseman Justin Turner told the Times. “‘We miss you, we want you to be here with us, you should be here enjoying this with us.’ But I understand.”
Gonzalez is under contract for 2018, owed $21.5 million. He originally went on the disabled list in June, which enabled rookie Cody Bellinger to slide from the outfield to his natural position at first base.
Bellinger went on to hit a National League rookie record 39 home runs.
“I know all of us have been wondering where he’s at and looking forward to seeing him again,” outfielder Andre Ethier said. “We know that he’s a big part of this and want him to know that he’s a big part of this.”
By Jese Yomtov