Tag: Adrian Gonzalez

Adrian Gonzalez Refused to Stay at Trump Hotel in Chicago During May Road Trip

Los Angeles Dodgers first baseman Adrian Gonzalez confirmed Sunday that he refused to stay at Chicago’s Trump International Hotel and Tower with teammates during a May series against the Cubs.

“I didn’t stay there,” Gonzalez said, per JP Hoornstra of the Southern California News Group. “I had my reasons.”

The Dodgers had long used the Donald Trump-owned hotel as their headquarters during Chicago road trips. They did not stay at the Trump Tower during their recent National League Championship Series trip to Chicago because the location required a non-refundable deposit.

Gonzalez refused to elucidate on the reasoning behind his decision.

“We’re here to play baseball, not talk politics,” he said.

Gonzalez was born in San Diego but raised in Mexico. He has played for the Mexican national team in the World Baseball Classic and has worked to build the game in his family’s native country. As Hoornstra noted, Gonzalez has donated to multiple Mexican charities and helped rebuild a Tijuana youth facility where he honed his game as a child.

Trump, the Republican nominee for president, has made a series of disparaging remarks about Mexicans during his campaign. He has consistently proposed the construction of a wall on the Mexican-American border aimed at keeping illegal immigrants out of the country. Trump has also accused Mexican immigrants of bringing drugs to the U.S. and of rape, among other crimes.

A recent NBC News poll showed Trump trails Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton by 50 points among Latino voters.


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Adrian Gonzalez Becomes 3rd Dodger to Hit 3 Home Runs in a Game Multiple Times

Fact: Adrian Gonzalez hit three home runs on Monday, joining Duke Snider and Shawn Green as the only players in Dodgers history to have multiple games with at least three home runs*.

Bleacher Report will be bringing sports fans the most interesting and engaging Cold Hard Fact of the day, presented by Coors Light.

*Data goes back to 1913

Source: B/R Insights

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Red-Hot Adrian Gonzalez Adds Another Weapon to Dangerous Dodgers Offense

Even with Adrian Gonzalez‘s awesomeness meter at less than 100 percent for most of the season, the Los Angeles Dodgers haven’t had much trouble hitting in 2016.

Just imagine what they can do now that his meter is far past 100 percent.

There was a hint of what it could be like Monday afternoon at Great American Ball Park. The Dodgers opened a proverbial can of whoop-ass on the Cincinnati Reds, beating them 18-9 to split a four-game series. Gonzalez was responsible for eight of those runs, seven of which came on a trio of home runs.

Here, gaze upon said dingers with glee:

This is the second time Gonzalez, 34, has clubbed three homers in a game. The other time he did it was April 8, 2015, which seemed to signal his seemingly long-lost power was ready for a comeback. Sure enough, he hit 28 homers last year—the most since he clubbed 31 in 2010.

It’s a similar story this time around. The home runs Gonzalez hit were only his 13th, 14th and 15th of 2016, but they upped his total in August to six. That’s twice as many as the veteran first baseman hit in any other month this year.

Now, you could point out that while one of Gonzalez’s dingers was a legit moonshot, the others were pop flies that may not have been home runs in other parks. If you do that, you’re either a nitpicker…or Adrian Gonzalez himself.

“It’s tiny; the ball flies,” Gonzalez said of the Reds’ digs after the game, per Bill Plunkett of the Orange County Register. “Right field’s really short. Left field plays short.

“I hit two fly balls for home runs today. It could easily have been a 1-for-6 game with five outs. It ends up being a pretty good day.”

Still, we’re not about to let Mr. Modesty bust a perfectly good narrative. Especially since this one’s, well, perfectly good.

This season hasn’t been Gonzalez’s best, but it has been a tale of two stretches in which the second is better than the first. That’s an easy thing to pull off if you start from a low enough place—such as the one Gonzalez occupied earlier this year.

Through May 16, he was batting .282 with a .408 slugging percentage—well short of his .493 career mark. Over half his batted balls were going on the ground, and he was also pulling the ball just 31.2 percent of the time.

It turned out Gonzalez was still battling a bad back that had plagued him down the stretch in 2015. That prompted Dodgers skipper Dave Roberts to give Gonzalez a couple of days off, during which he received treatment.

Not counting Monday, Gonzalez had hit .304 with a .451 slugging percentage since his return. In this span, he’s put only 44.8 percent of his batted balls on the ground and pulled the ball 40.8 percent of the time.

By getting more balls airborne and using his pull side more frequently, Gonzalez has been using two of three recommended ingredients for power hitting. The other? Hard contact, which leads us to the monthly progression of his hard-hit rate:

  • April: 30.0%
  • May: 31.9%
  • June: 32.9%
  • July: 27.4%
  • August: 43.1%

Jeff Sullivan of FanGraphs highlighted how Gonzalez’s hard-hit rate hasn’t experienced a peak like this since about two-thirds of the way through 2015. And since he was already doing everything else he needed to do to hit for power, finding this upturn was probably inevitable.

Gonzalez was hitting .368 with a 1.014 OPS in August even before he went off for three jacks. If this is at all indicative of what he can be for the Dodgers down the stretch, Roberts has every right to feel the way he does about his lineup.

“Very excited for our offense,” he said after Monday’s game, per Andy McCullough of the Los Angeles Times.

The Dodgers offense has been the best in the National League since the All-Star break, and not just because Gonzalez has gotten hot. Also heating up any room they walk into are young studs Corey Seager (22) and Joc Pederson (24) and ol’ standbys Justin Turner, Yasmani Grandal and Howie Kendrick. Chase Utley hasn’t been consistent since the break, but he’s been powerful, with six home runs.

The timing couldn’t be better. Los Angeles had been getting away with makeshift starting pitching all season, but not anymore. After Scott Kazmir’s latest flop Monday, Dodgers starters have a 6.67 ERA in August.

Help is on the way. Trade-deadline acquisition Rich Hill, he of the 2.25 ERA, is slated to make his Dodgers debut Wednesday. Clayton Kershaw, ace pitcher extraordinaire, could return in September.

But as we talked about over the weekend, there’s a nonzero chance Hill and Kershaw are rusty when they come back. Whatever regular-season innings they log could be just as much about getting back into form as they are about shutting down opposing lineups.

As such, the Dodgers’ need for offense will remain intact. It can only help that vintage Gonzalez has returned. He’s in a lineup that’s facing a tall order, but the unit looms that much larger now that he’s swinging a hot stick.


Stats courtesy of Baseball-Reference.com and FanGraphs unless otherwise noted/linked.

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Adrian Gonzalez Injury: Updates on Dodgers Star’s Back and Return

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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Adrian Gonzalez Injury: Updates on Dodgers Star’s Back and Return

First baseman Adrian Gonzalez has been one of baseball’s most durable players throughout his career, but the Los Angeles Dodgers slugger is out of Saturday’s lineup with a back problem. 

Continue for updates. 

Gonzalez to Sit out for Rest of Weekend with Back Injury

Saturday, Sept. 26

According to Bill Plunkett of the Orange County Register, Gonzalez was a late scratch from the Dodgers lineup against the Colorado Rockies as he battles a sore back. Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times also noted Gonzalez will not play on Sunday.

Gonzalez Comments on Status

Friday, Sept. 25

Talking to Hernandez about the injury, Gonzalez said that it’s affected one side of his entire body for at least the past week.

“My whole left side—my hamstring, my calf, my quad—everything feels weak and kind of dead, in a sense,” Gonzalez said. “When I’m hitting, I feel like I have no backside. When I’m running, I feel like I can’t really push off my left leg.”

How Gonzalez Absence Impacts Dodgers 

Since being traded to the San Diego Padres in 2006, Gonzalez has appeared in at least 156 games every season. That’s one reason he’s been such a productive player throughout his career, in addition to just being a special talent. 

Gonzalez’s presence in the Dodgers lineup is crucial. The strength of this team is in the starting rotation with Clayton Kershaw and Zack Greinke at the top, but the lineup doesn’t feature much depth, with Joc Pederson slumping in the second half and Yasiel Puig likely out the rest of this season. 

Even though Gonzalez’s bat isn’t what it was at his peak in San Diego, he still leads the Dodgers with 28 homers and 88 RBI. Considering the Dodgers have nearly wrapped up the National League West title, they can afford to be cautious with their star hitter before the playoffs begin. 

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3 Biggest Takeaways for the Los Angeles Dodgers Following MLB Opening Week

The Los Angeles Dodgers wrapped up Week 1 of the 2015 season with mixed results, splitting six games against fellow National League West opponents.

It was a roller-coaster ride of emotions, with several exciting moments peppered with the sobering reminders that some old wounds may still need tourniquets.

The sample size is undeniably small, but here are the three main takeaways from the first week of Dodger baseball.


Clayton Kershaw Hasn’t Found His Rhythm

Through his first two starts in 2015, the reigning National League MVP has looked like anything but the pitcher who took home his third Cy Young Award last season.

Kershaw got the Opening Day nod at Dodger Stadium against the San Diego Padres. He came away with a no-decision after making 99 pitches in just six innings and allowed three earned runs. It wasn’t a terrible start but certainly below the standard Kershaw has set for himself during the past several years.

Surely the offseason rust would have crumbled away by his second start?

Not quite.

The Arizona Diamondbacks torched the southpaw for 10 hits and five earned runs in less than seven innings at Chase Field. Kershaw couldn’t avoid a decision on Saturday night, suffering the loss to begin the season 0-1.

“Basically, I got blasted today,” Kershaw said, per Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times. “I don’t know what else to say.”

Kershaw has already allowed eight earned runs on the young season. He didn’t surrender his eighth earned run until May 17 last year—coincidentally against the same Diamondbacks team at Chase Field during what would end up being his worst start of the season.

Kershaw will take on the Colorado Rockies in a home start this Friday.

Adrian Gonzalez Is Locked In

The Dodgers are going to need Adrian Gonzalez to hold down the middle of the lineup more than ever now that Matt Kemp and Hanley Ramirez are gone.

So far, the veteran first baseman hasn’t disappointed.

He’s recorded a hit in every game this season, including five home runs during the season-opening series against San Diego—the team for which he belted 161 long balls from 2006-2010.

The highlight of the week was Gonzalez’s three-homer game last Wednesday. The Padres’ starting pitcher, Andrew Cashner, served up each dose of the trifecta—the first of Gonzalez’s career.

“I was able to run into three fastballs and I thank God they were able to go over the fence,” said Gonzalez, per ESPN Los Angeles’ Mark Saxon. “It’s definitely right up there as a personal feat.”

The three home runs piggy-backed another one he had hit late in the previous game, making it four consecutive plate appearances that ended with a long ball.

All five of Gonzalez’s home runs this year have landed beyond the right field fence, illustrating a recent trend of pulling his round-trippers rather than sending them to the opposite field.

Gonzalez’s performance wasn’t solely about the power surge, though. According to Ace of MLB Stats, he also became the first player in the last decade to open a season with at least three hits in his team’s first three games.

While none of Gonzalez’s four hits over the weekend left the yard, the 32-year-old still enters Tuesday night’s game against the Seattle Mariners with a robust .556 average (15-for-27), four doubles and seven RBI.

Bullpen Concerns Remain

A winter removed from ranking 22nd in bullpen ERA, 20th in FIP and 27th in walk rate, the Dodgers bullpen is once again struggling to begin the 2015 season.

Determined to solidify a shaky situation, new president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman and general manager Farhan Zaidi decided to clean house over the winter. They severed ties with Brian Wilson and made trades to bring in right-handers Joel Peralta, Juan Nicasio and Chris Hatcher.

With closer Kenley Jansen out for at least a few more weeks as he recovers from foot surgery, the Dodgers have turned to a bullpen by committee.

Hatcher recorded the save on Opening Day but retired just one of the next nine batters he faced over two appearances—ballooning his ERA to 33.75 in the process. Peralta has since assumed closing duties and has yet to allow a run.

Although Peralta has turned in serviceable work so far, the 39-year-old has just 14 career saves in 561 innings pitched. Continued reliance on him in the ninth inning may eventually cost the Dodgers, who must patiently wait for Jansen to return.

Left-hander J.P. Howell, one of the few holdovers from last season, began the season by allowing a tiebreaking single in the eighth inning last Tuesday. After pitching a scoreless inning the next day, he then took a loss in Arizona by surrendering a walk-off single in the 10th inning on Friday.

Los Angeles relievers, whose combined 3.60 ERA ranks 21st in baseball, have been directly responsible for two of the team’s three losses.

“We’ll just play it out,” said Mattingly, per NBC Los Angeles’ Michael Duarte. “You’ll have to stay tuned. It’s a fluid situation.”


All stats courtesy of ESPN.com unless otherwise noted.

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Gonzalez Becomes 1st Player with 5 Home Runs Through 3 Games

Los Angeles Dodgers first baseman Adrian Gonzalez had a memorable season-opening series against the San Diego Padres, as he became the first player in MLB history to hit five home runs through his team’s first three games of a season, per Elias Sports Bureau (h/t ESPN Stats & Info).

The fun started with a solo shot off Padres pitcher James Shields in the fourth inning of a 6-3 Opening Day win, with Gonzalez providing the Dodgers’ first run of the season. He finished the game with three hits in five at-bats, needing only a triple to complete the cycle.

The 32-year-old first baseman then hit another solo home run to tie Tuesday’s game at 3-3 in the eight inning, only to watch the Padres plate four ninth-inning runs against Dodgers pitcher Chris Hatcher, with help from an error by shortstop Jimmy Rollins.

Gonzalez made sure the Dodgers didn’t drop their first series of the season, as he saved the real fireworks for Wednesday’s rubber game.

He hit solo home runs in each of his first three at-bats, going deep off Padres pitcher Andrew Cashner in the first, third and fifth innings.

Gonzalez then added an RBI single in the bottom of the sixth, and while it appeared he might get a fifth plate appearance, the Dodgers only got one runner on base for the rest of the game.

Gonzalez thus finished the series with 10 hits in 13 at-bats (.769 batting average), piling up five home runs, two doubles, seven runs and seven RBI.

He enters Friday’s action as the early major league leader in batting average, home runs, RBI, runs, on-base percentage and slugging percentage.

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Dodgers’ Position-by-Position Breakdown at 2015 Spring Training

The Los Angeles Dodgers underwent their first full workout of spring training this week, officially turning the page on a busy offseason and opening the 2015 chapter with high hopes.

Succumbing to the St. Louis Cardinals in the playoffs for a second straight year prompted the franchise to rethink its overall philosophy last October. Ownership opted to hire an entirely new front office, headed by president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman and general manager Farhan Zaidi, shortly after the postseason defeat.

This analytic-minded duo wasted little time revamping the roster, trading away fan favorites Matt Kemp and Dee Gordon while allowing Hanley Ramirez to walk via free agency in an effort to improve defense, chemistry and financial flexibility.

Spring training games against other MLB opponents at Camelback Ranch don’t begin until March 4, but the Boys in Blue are eager to see what their new—and hopefully improved—roster can do on the field.


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Dodgers Getting Their Money’s Worth from High-Priced Core

The big-money stars just might be coming on at the right time.

For nearly the entire season, the Los Angeles Dodgers could not get health or consistent, steady production from the bulk of their highly priced core, especially the men whose primary job is hitting.

But as the final week of the regular season begins and the postseason starts to yawn and stretch as it wakes, the Dodgers appear to be hitting full sprinting speed despite a 13-inning loss Monday night that kept their magic number to win the National League West at three.

From Aug. 31 through the start of Monday’s game, the Dodgers had one of the most devastating offenses in the majors with a .308/.369/.478 slash line and an .847 OPS. As a team this month, the Dodgers are second in the majors with 120 runs scored (three behind the leading Los Angeles Angels), leading with 27 home runs, second with 341 total bases and second with an .820 OPS.

That is monstrous production, and it’s the stars leading the way:

• Since the All-Star break, Matt Kemp, one of the game’s best all-around players in 2011 and part of 2012 before a shoulder injury sapped him, has hit .304/.363/.580 with a .943 OPS, 15 homers and 49 RBIs. In September, he has hit a major league-leading seven home runs and went into the week with a 1.044 OPS.

“He’s been great,” manager Don Mattingly told Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times. “It seems like a lot of our guys have been stepping up. He’s certainly one of those guys.”

• Since Sept. 5 and going into Monday, Hanley Ramirez has been red hot. He hit .451/.509/.588 with a 1.097 OPS, seven doubles and 11 RBIs in 15 games. He was also hitting .511 on balls he put into play.

• Adrian Gonzalez has joined the romp since the break. He went into Monday hitting .326/.378/.561 with a .939 OPS, 11 home runs and 52 RBIs in his previous 59 games.

• Yasiel Puig, the most polarizing player in the sport, had been going through a prolonged slump since Aug. 4. In 31 games from that date, Puig hit .186/.289/.212 without a home run and five RBIs. But from Sept. 13 to the start of Monday’s contest, Puig was 17-for-40 (.425) with a 1.152 OPS and two home runs in nine games.

• Finally, since Aug. 10 and entering the week, Carl Crawford was hitting .411/.449/.579 with a 1.029 OPS, seven doubles, three homers, 20 RBIs and eight stolen bases in 34 games. He also homered Monday.


Those five players have contracts worth a combined $568 million, although the Dodgers haven’t paid all of that money since Gonzalez, Crawford and Ramirez were acquired through trades after those deals had been finalized. Also, the bargain that is Dee Gordon has been back on track lately, hitting .312/.318/.385 in his previous 22 games before Monday.

“Hanley’s swinging better, Yasiel’s swinging better, Dee’s getting his hits, Adrian’s been the same all year,” Mattingly told J.P. Hoornstra of the Inland Valley Daily Bulletin on Sunday. “Our guys know what’s at stake.” 

Right now, that’s a second consecutive NL West title. After this week: the franchise’s first World Series title in 26 years. That is why this team was built the way it was once the Guggenheim Baseball Management group took over ownership from the despised Frank McCourt in 2012.

This was the blueprint. This was what things were supposed to look like, how they were supposed to work. The Dodgers broke payroll records this year to field a team that trotted out expensive superstars at nearly every position. They spent so there would be no real breaks in the lineup for opposing pitchers, and they spent for pitching so that they could still walk away with victories even when the offense wasn’t running at optimal levels.

On that pitching front, Clayton Kershaw, Zack Greinke and Hyun-Jin Ryuthey make a combined $398 millionhave done their jobs. Dan Haren, on the other hand, has been a liability for a good portion of the season, but even the 34-year old veteran has learned to pitch with his declining tools. Over his last nine starts, including Monday, Haren has allowed 14 earned runs in 54 1/3 innings for a 2.32 ERA, making him another guy getting his act together at the right time. His start Monday kicked in a vesting option for 2015 that would pay him $10 million, the same as his salary from this season.

This Dodger club has no excuses. It’s relatively healthyRyu’s status for the postseason is still up in the air—and could gain home-field advantage for the first two rounds of the playoffs if things fall right.

And for maybe the first time since Guggenheim got its receipt for the team, everything seems to be moving as planned. All that’s left is another month of production, and this could be the team that breaks the championship dry spell for one of the game’s storied franchises.

Anthony Witrado covers Major League Baseball for Bleacher Report. He spent the previous three seasons as the national baseball columnist at Sporting News, and four years before that as the Brewers beat writer for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Follow Anthony on Twitter @awitrado and talk baseball here.

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Top 5 Issues the San Diego Padres Need to Address to Turn Things Around

Since getting swept by Joe Torre and the New York Yankees in the 1998 World Series, the San Diego Padres have only played playoff ball twice.

Even on those two occasions that they managed to take an underpaid club and over-perform enough to swing the bats in October, they’ve only been victorious once.

Not since Khalil Greene was making acrobatic plays at shortstop before making the throw to Adrian Gonzalez at first base has this team hung an NL West banner. Eight years later, Greene is five years into his retirement, while Gonzalez finds himself playing baseball up the I-5 with Magic Johnson. Meanwhile, the Friars are still trying to figure this whole baseball thing out and turn things around.

It may take some collective prayers.

It may take a complete overhaul of the League’s hatred for parity by implementing a salary cap 

Either way, read on to find out what this club can do to improve.

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