First baseman diagnosed with herniated disc in back
By Ben Weinrib
CLEVELAND -- The Dodgers will be without first baseman Adrian Gonzalez for at least the next week and a half after placing him on the 10-day disabled list (retroactive to June 12) with a herniated disc in his lower back, the club announced Tuesday.
The Dodgers also announced they reinstated outfielder Joc Pederson from the seven-day concussion disabled list.
This is Gonzalez's second stint on the DL this season after avoiding the DL in his first 13 seasons. He spent nearly two weeks on the DL in May while recovering from soreness in his right elbow. The 35-year-old was removed from Sunday's game against the Reds after six innings after his back "locked up on him," manager Dave Roberts said.
Roberts described the injury as "more on the benign side," and surgery is not considered an option at this point. Gonzalez underwent an MRI on Monday and was scheduled for a second opinion on his back Tuesday.
Gonzalez is hitting .255 with one home run, 11 doubles and 23 RBIs in 49 games for the Dodgers in 2017. In his absence, rookie sensation Cody Bellinger will move from left field to first base.
"If you look at our roster, we have a four-man bench," Roberts said, "but everybody on our roster is pretty versatile, aside from [Yasmani Grandal] and [Franklin Gutierrez]."
Pederson, who missed 16 games with a concussion after colliding with Yasiel Puig in the outfield on May 23, went 3-for-9 (.333) with two homers and four RBIs in a three-game rehab stint with Triple-A Oklahoma City. He is batting .200 with two home runs and 11 RBIs in 35 games for Los Angeles this year.
After the collision, Pederson faced what he described as a muscle spasm in his neck, which made it hard to face a pitcher in the batter's box. However, the symptoms went away before he began his rehab assignment.
Roberts expects Pederson to play in all three games in the Indians series but could get a breather shortly thereafter as the Dodgers play 20 games in 20 days.
"It's one of those things that I talk about, being able to adjust, and in this game, you have to," Roberts said. "It calls for that. Joc physically feels fine. I think ideally, I would have liked for him to go out there and take some more at-bats. But the circumstances called for him to be here, and he's going to help us win baseball games."
Ben Weinrib is a reporter for MLB.com based in Cleveland and covered the Dodgers on Tuesday. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.