Dodgers: Three Major Storylines to Monitor Before the Postseason
How Does Dave Roberts Handle Adrian Gonzalez’s Return
Adrian Gonzalez has already played in a few rehab games just last week and is expected to join the team sometime next week. The key question here is – how does Dave Roberts manage Gonzalez’s playing time?
Dave Roberts has an ample amount of options with how he wants to handle this situation. The honest truth is that the way this plays out is entirely up to how Gonzalez produces when he returns. But assuming Gonzalez produces up to his best capabilities, Roberts has to choose from one of these solutions.
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- Start Gonzalez at first, Bellinger moves to left, Taylor starts at center against lefties, Joc is benched.
- Start Gonzalez at first, Bellinger moves to left, Taylor starts at second against righties, Forsythe is benched.
- Split playing time with Bellinger and Gonzalez at first, easing Gonzalez’s return to full health and allowing Bellinger to rest as he has played virtually every day since his call up in April.
- Ask Gonzalez to take a reduced role as the primary pinch hitter off the bench not disrupting the current lineup chemistry.
- Split playing time with all four of the players mentioned above. Luckily Dave Roberts has players that are versatile and can play both the outfield and infield.
If you ask me, I’d roll out line ups based on choices 1 and 2. Taylor has proven himself as a true leadoff hitter for the Dodgers, and if Gonzalez is going to be an x-factor in the postseason, he’ll need everyday at-bats to get into October form. That said, option three doesn’t sound like a bad idea if it means that Bellinger can get some rest and it keeps Gonzalez 100 % healthy.
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Dave Roberts has plenty of options when Gonzalez comes in. As I mentioned at the beginning of this article, he’s the favorite for MOY, so I expect him to be already thinking about ways to handle these situations. He’s gotten them to the best record in baseball in only his second year. But moving forward these are some storylines to follow as we close out this season.