Gibson gives Goldschmidt day off to freshen up
PHOENIX -- For the first time since July 3, a span of 47 games, D-backs first baseman and National League MVP candidate Paul Goldschmidt was out of the starting lineup Wednesday in the club's series finale with the Padres. With a scheduled off-day Thursday, D-backs manager Kirk Gibson opted to give the All-Star a couple of days' rest heading into the final month of the season, regardless of how hard Goldschmidt tried to fight it.
"I just wanted him to unload a little bit and relax. Of course he said, 'No, I want to play,' but I think it was the right thing to do because we're trying to get him freshened up," Gibson said. "It's a recovery day for him and that was my decision. He has played every inning of every game for how long? That guy has carried a ton on his shoulders and I know he's gassed, he's got to be. I've been there and I made the decision on my own to give him today off."
Although Goldschmidt's production hasn't exactly lagged this month -- he's batting .287 with seven homers and 18 RBIs in August -- Gibson said he has noticed the first baseman perhaps dragging a bit as the season reaches its final stretch. Entering Wednesday, Goldschmidt has appeared in every D-backs game this year except one.
"I think I pushed him about as far as I could push him, he's fine, he's not hurt, but his legs are toast even though he wouldn't admit it to you," Gibson said. "It all just kind of catches up to you, and he's for sure not a guy we want to lose."
Despite pleas from his manager, Goldschmidt, who leads the National League with 104 RBIs and is second in homers with 31, still didn't spend his entire day resting.
"I suggested he stay at home later, but of course he came in at his normal time," Gibson said. "I told him I didn't want him on the field though."