Zaidi: Gonzalez to get strategic rest in 2017

Urias may begin season in extended spring training

February 22nd, 2017

PHOENIX -- General manager Farhan Zaidi, speaking at the annual Cactus League Media Day on Tuesday, touched on a few minor issues his loaded Dodgers face on the first day of full-squad workouts.

Zaidi repeated manager Dave Roberts' desire to find more days off for first baseman , who earlier in the day said he will learn from team doctor Neal ElAttrache in the first week of March whether he will be cleared to begin hitting. Gonzalez has been shut down with right elbow tendinitis, and he added that if he can play in at least one Dodgers exhibition game, he will join Team Mexico for the World Baseball Classic the second week of March.

Regardless, management is determined to cut back the games the 34-year-old Gonzalez plays. Although he has played in at least 156 games every year since 2006, Zaidi said strategic rest will benefit Gonzalez and the club.

"We looked over the last few years his performance coming out of a day off, and he always seems to have a hot streak coming out of that," Zaidi said. "It's tough with him; he's so good defensively also. Even against a tough lefty, he's the best option, but we're going to try to figure a way to give him more days off."

Zaidi also reaffirmed management's commitment to limit the innings of 20-year-old , but he wouldn't commit how, saying having Urias begin this season in extended spring training was "a possible scenario." Another scenario, Zaidi said, was to keep Urias in the rotation but limit his innings each start.

Earlier in the day, threw 12 pitches of live batting practice with no signs of last year's wildness.

"His execution was perfect today in his live BP," said Zaidi. "That's the guy I knew in Oakland who could just execute pitches at such a high level. For me, watching him, execution is key, more important than what the radar gun is showing. If he continues to execute the way he did today, that's a great sign."

Zaidi said the club will probably carry an extra infielder with shortstop experience to back up . The logical contenders are , Chris Taylor and Charlie Culberson.