PHOENIX — It turns out even America’s First Baseman needs some rest from time to time.
While Paul Goldschmidt likely wouldn’t admit it — especially this time of year — his manager wasn’t bashful about what he saw when watching the All-Star run the bases during Tuesday night’s 10-9 win over the San Diego Padres.
“The guy has shouldered a ton, and I just watched him last night and he’s gassed,” Arizona Diamondbacks manager Kirk Gibson said of Goldschmidt. “He’s got to be, and I’ve been there.”
Knowing that his team can’t afford to have Goldschmidt — who leads the National League in RBI (104) and is second in home runs (31) — out of the lineup over the final month of the season, Gibson gave the 25-year-old a much-needed day of rest Wednesday — a move that fits in nicely with the D-backs’ off day Thursday.
“He’s going to come in today, and mentally at least he’s going to get a blow,” said Gibson. “He’s very dedicated in that way. I wanted him to try relax and unload a little bit, and he says, ‘No, I can play, I can play.’ But I said to him, ‘I understand that you want to, but you have to know that I’m doing the right thing for you.'”
Much-needed doesn’t even begin to describe Goldschmidt’s ordered hiatus from the field.
The D-backs first baseman has played in 130 out of a possible 131 games in 2013 and hasn’t been held out of the lineup since a July 3 contest against the New York Mets.
In all, he’s started 47 straight games — eight of which went have gone to extra inning. And even during his one scheduled opportunity to enjoy a brief break from the action, Goldschmidt wasn’t able to get away because he was too busy soaking up his first experience in the Midsummer Classic.
Gibson noted that it took the team’s last road swing — one which featured the longest game in franchise history Saturday night — for him to realize that enough was enough.
“We played that road trip. We played those extra-inning games and had that 18-inning game in Philadelphia. Then, we had virtually no rest the next day and got on a plane and crashed. Eventually it catches up with you,” said Gibson. “He never really got his legs back. See when you play a game and then get right on a plane afterwards, it’s really tough.
“It’s not an ideal recovery time, but it’s what we do. It’s just been a lot of volume for him.”
While Goldschmidt was given the option to come to the ballpark late, according to his manager, the D-backs first baseman was working in the training room Wednesday afternoon and plans to take batting practice in the cages during the game.
America’s First Baseman might need some rest from time to time, but a day at the ballpark is still never a day off for Paul Goldschmidt.