ANAHEIM, Calif. – The Dodgers are missing their "Big Butter and Egg Man."
Adrian Gonzalez was not in the lineup for Los Angeles on Thursday night for the finale of the four-game Freeway Series as the Dodgers' first baseman missed his third consecutive game with lower back tightness.
Gonzalez first experienced the back issue during an at-bat on Monday night after he struck out looking. Dodgers' manager Dave Roberts immediately took him out of the game and listed the slugger as "day-to-day."
However, one day has now turned into three straight days and fans are starting to worry.
Roberts himself, hinted that the team was interested in calling up minor leaguer, Rob Segedin who can play first base and the outfield in case Gonzalez has to miss any time.
Fortunately, Gonzalez himself said the injury is not serious and that he does not believe a DL stint is necessary.
"If it was my call, I would be out there playing," Gonzalez said on Tuesday night. "But they said that it's early in the year, and there's no need to push it. "
Gonzalez mentioned a similar issue he experienced in spring training when his neck acted up in Arizona. Gonzalez has dealt with the chronic neck issue the better part of five seasons, and said that the front office immediately shut him down in Spring and is being cautious again with his back.
"I experienced this with my neck, and they're telling me the same thing," Gonzalez added. "It's better to just get over this and come back."
After Wednesday's 8-1 loss to the Angels, Roberts was again asked about Gonzalez and the first-time manager suggested that his first baseman could return on Thursday or Friday. However, before Thursday's game, Roberts retreated, saying that the earliest Gonzalez would return to the lineup is Saturday in San Diego.
Gonzalez has played in each of the team's 39 games this season and has never been on the DL in his major league career. His longest absence from the lineup was three straight games in 2005 when he was with the Rangers.
If Gonzalez experiences a setback this weekend, the Dodgers could place him on the 15-day disabled list, retroactive to Tuesday, May 17th. That would allow Gonzalez a little less than two weeks to rest his back, and allow the team to call up a player from Triple-A.
Meanwhile, new "super utility" player Howie Kendrick has started at first base in the last three games, and Kendrick has now played four different positions for Los Angeles this season.