Dodgers first baseman Adrian Gonzalez is expected to start rehab assignment in Oklahoma City next week


Dodgers first baseman Adrian Gonzalez is expected to report to triple-A Oklahoma City this week to begin what is likely to be a lengthy rehabilitation assignment to test the readiness of his injured back.

Manager Dave Roberts indicated Saturday morning that the team had not determined on which particular day Gonzalez would start the assignment. Gonzalez is expected to spend several weeks in the minors, first with Oklahoma City and then with class-A Rancho Cucamonga, for logistical reasons, Roberts said.

“He’s getting close to heading out,” Roberts said.

The team transferred Gonzalez to the 60-day disabled list Saturday after acquiring left-handed pitcher Luis Ysla from Boston for cash considerations. Gonzalez cannot be activated until Aug. 11. Ysla was transferred to double-A Tulsa.


Gonzalez has not played since June 11. He has been dealing with a herniated disk. The team needs to see what he can contribute before deciding if he can play first base, which would shift Cody Bellinger into the outfield and likely send Chris Taylor back to second base.

Gonzalez has posted a career-worst .643 on-base plus slugging percentage this season. He has homered once in 182 plate appearances.

Kershaw plays catch again

Clayton Kershaw played catch Saturday for the second day in a row. He has begun to make progress in his rehabilitation from a lower back strain, which occurred last Sunday. The team is not expected to reveal a timetable for his return.

Roberts said he didn’t know whether Kershaw would accompany the team on its three-city, cross-country trip next week. Roberts expressed some concern about Kershaw flying from Los Angeles to Atlanta to New York to Phoenix. He said team trainer Neil Rampe might prefer to keep Kershaw in Los Angeles to be examined by specialists.

“We want to make sure the right people have eyes on him,” Roberts said. “I don’t even want to speculate. But it kind of makes sense that he might stay here. But if he has this burning desire to travel with us, we’ll take that into consideration too.”

Short hops

Brandon McCarthy will throw a bullpen session Sunday to gauge how the blisters on his right hand are affecting him …. Kenta Maeda will start Tuesday against Atlanta, followed by Brock Stewart and Alex Wood. Stewart should be able to stretch out longer than he did in his first start of the season, a 55-pitch appearance Wednesday against Minnesota.

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