A Roster move looms on the horizon for the Dodgers as outfielder/first baseman Scott Van Slyke, also known as Scott Van Sluggo, is scheduled to return from the disabled list tonight for the Dodgers. Van Slyke has been rehabbing down in Rancho Cucamonga for the Quakes, as he works his way back from a shoulder injury.
Technically Van Slyke’s injury was reported to be shoulder bursitis. Van Slyke suffered the injury after diving for a ball, while playing in the outfield. Before the injury, Van Slyke was playing very well, and beginning to develop as a legitimate power threat in the Dodger lineup.
Van Slyke hit .275 in the month of May. He collected 11 hits that month, including five multi-hit games, five doubles, and four home runs. That’s nine extra-base hits. But in June he started to struggle while dealing with the shoulder injury. He only had three hits in June, and only two home runs.
Los Angeles Dodgers right fielder Scott Van Slyke (33) high fives with manager Don Mattingly (8) after hitting a home run against the Atlanta Braves during the sixth inning at Turner Field.-Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports
The Dodgers could activate Van Slyke today, and if so then that means a roster spot has to be cleared in order to add Van Slyke back on the active 25 man roster. Does this finally mean the end of the line for Luis Cruz? Or could we see another phantom injury so the Dodgers can keep the horrendously useless Cruz on the roster? Start hedging your bets now. DFA? Or more Bum shuffling?
Van Slyke went 2 for 12 in three rehab games for the Rancho Cucamonga Quakes. The Dodgers already have a crowded outfield, so the plan is to keep Van Slyke on the bench as a power bat and occasional fill-in at the outfield corners, and first base. Here is what Don Mattingly has to say about the Dodger’s future plans for Van Slyke.
"“We like him; he gives us a guy off the bench with power,” Mattingly said. “He gives us another right-handed bat in the outfield. He makes us better, I believe.”"
Originally the Dodgers had designated Van Slyke for assignment during last winter, in order to clear room after the Schumaker trade. Fortunately nobody picked up Van Slyke, and he easily cleared waivers, allowing the Dodgers to be able to option him back and forth between Albuquerque and the big club this season.
Van Slyke has played 24 games this season for the Dodgers, receiving most of his playing time in left and right field. Van Slyke is batting .221 (15 for 68) with six home runs and 11 RBIs in 74 plate appearances.