Manager Dave Roberts told Gonzalez, who was on the field in uniform prior to Games 2 and 3 of the World Series, to watch the rest of the postseason from afar rather than have him take part in pregame activities and team matters, according to Andy McCullough and Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times.
The first baseman hoped he would make the Dodgers’ postseason roster as a pinch hitter, and once a decision was made not to include him, he requested permission to be with family. Gonzalez wasn’t with the team for the National League Division Series and NL Championship Series as the organization signed off on his trip to Italy.
The veteran made it back for the World Series serving as an analyst for SportsNet LA in Game 1, but his return to the field didn’t sit well with certain members of the team, people familiar with the situation said. Roberts spoke to Gonzalez on Saturday, telling him he didn’t want the situation to distract his team.
The 35-year-old was limited to only 71 games this year due to separate elbow and back injuries. His stint on the disabled list eventually paved way for Cody Bellinger, who went on to have a record-setting rookie campaign. Gonzalez is owed $22.4 million next season before becoming a free agent in 2019.