The Los Angeles Dodgers have gotten off to a slow start this season, so an injury to Adrian Gonzalez‘s back is not what their lineup needed to see. The first baseman suffered the injury on Monday, and it’s unclear when he’ll return to the field. 

Continue for updates. 

Gonzalez Out vs. Angels

Tuesday, May 17

The Dodgers announced Gonzalez won’t play Tuesday against their Los Angeles counterparts. 

Reliable Gonzalez Crucial to Dodgers Offense 

Gonzalez is one of Major League Baseball’s most durable players, appearing in at least 156 games every season since 2006. He’s also one of the Dodgers’ most valuable offensive weapons, leading the team in homers and RBI each of the last three years. 

The Dodgers’ All-Star first baseman was banged up down the stretch last season, having been taken out of the lineup during a series against the Colorado Rockies due to back problems.

It was a lingering problem that’s altered Gonzalez’s performance in the second half of 2015, as his slugging percentage dropped nearly 100 points in the second half. That drop in power has continued into this season, with the former All-Star slugging .408 percent coming into Monday, but he’s still hitting for average and getting on base. 

The Dodgers don’t have a deep lineup around Gonzalez, though Chase Utley has been surprisingly strong so far and rookie Corey Seager is slowly coming into his own. 

The Dodgers are facing stiff competition in the National League West, as San Francisco and Arizona made big improvements in the offseason, so losing a hitter as consistent and reliable as Gonzalez alters the division’s dynamic.

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