When will the D-backs’ Paul Goldschmidt get his first day off?
The Diamondbacks’ Paul Goldschmidt, like most perennial All-Stars, rarely gets a day off. So when he was in the lineup on Saturday night in the D-backs’ win over the Dodgers, it wasn’t much of a surprise.
The two-time runner-up for NL MVP has yet to miss a game in 2017, and manager Torey Lovullo was asked whether he’d given any thought to when that first day off would be.
“I’m thinking about it,” Lovullo said.
Not counting his two-month big league stint in 2011, or the year that he partially sat out due to injury, Goldschmidt has played 145, 160, 159 and 158 of his team’s 162 games each year, in that order. Unless a day of rest comes in the next two games, the 29-year-old will play his 800th major league game on Monday against the Padres.
“He’s an elite player,” Lovullo continued. “We want our best players to play as much as possible. However — I’ve said this from the very beginning – no player is going to play every single day. It’s just impossible.”
The D-backs have gone on the road just once this year, during which they stayed in their own time zone the entire time. But in August, for example, Goldschmidt and his team will play an afternoon home game, then play in Houston the next day, followed by a series in Minneapolis, then New York, then back home to play the Giants — all with no days off.
“In today’s game, with the travels and different altitudes, late games, day games, ESPN games, it’s very challenging for these kids to go out and play every single day,” Lovullo said. “So, I want us to be at our maximum strength in August and September when these games are going to be very meaningful.”
So when will Goldschimdt sit? Lovullo didn’t reveal that tidbit, but here’s what we know:
–Goldschmidt has now gone 8-for-41 (.195) in his last 12 games. If he starts to heat up, Lovullo might not be inclined to sit him. But if he doesn’t come out of the “slump,” the D-backs could figure that a day off would serve him well.
–The D-backs’ current home stand lasts through the end of April against NL West teams. If he doesn’t get a day off before the end of the month, it’d behoove the Diamondbacks to keep playing him: In the upcoming road trip, Arizona plays the Nationals and Rockies at Nationals Park and Coors Field, where Goldy hits .339 and .301 for his career, respectively.
–The D-backs as a team have days off on May 1, May 8 and May 18, but their two days off in April have both come and gone.
–Who would play first base in Goldy’s absence? Probably Daniel Descalso. He’s played first base 34 times in his career, and no other player on the Diamondbacks roster has made more than 10 career appearances at first (but Chris Herrmann, Chris Iannetta, Brandon Drury, Jake Lamb and Yasmany Tomas have all played at least one inning there in the major leagues).
Arizona Sports’ Derek Montilla contributed to this story.