I knew it wouldn’t take long for the desperation to seep in, and people to start clamoring for the call-up of Scott Van Slyke. Sure enough we have been hearing it all over the internet. Dodger fans have been screaming for him to be re-called, more out of desperation than anything. Finally the Dodgers did it today. Making the move about three hours before their game with the Marlins is scheduled to start.
The Dodgers recalled first baseman/outfielder Scott Van Slyke from Albuquerque, and have optioned Elian Herrera back down again to make room for Van Slyke. The club also moved Chad Billingsley from the 15-day disabled list, to the 60 day DL.
Van Slyke was just named one of the Dodger pride award winners, and has been raking it down in Albuquerque. Van Slyke is batting .397 with the Isotopes, with nine home runs and 30 RBI in 147 plate appearances in 34 games played. Van Slyke was OPSing over 1.000 down there, and I’m not surprised to see him up with the big club eventually.
I am assuming this was a preventative measure because of Gonzo’s neck injury. Gonzalez inured his neck after chasing a foul ball and bumping into the first base umpire. He then re-injured it while diving for a foul ball on Wednesday night. He said he will be able to play through it, but the Dodgers may not be so confident. Van Slyke is insurance, but then why call up Elian Herrera in the first place? Van Slyke is just another guy who can’t run the bases. And we all know one of the major problems with the Dodger offense is the lack of base running skills.
Is this the right move though? What the Van Slyke clamorers perhaps have forgotten is that Van Slyke had his chance last season, and sucked major balls. Van Slyke played in 27 games in 2012 for the Dodgers. The big right hander batted .167 (9 for 54) with two home runs in 57 plate appearances. The big guy only drew two walks during his first stint. That could be concerning on a very patient hitting team. I know he can’t be any worse than some of the other bench guys right now, but is the 26 year old really the answer?
These are the same clamoring shouters that insisted that Jerry Sands would be the next Mike Trout. You know the same clamorers that clamor for every single mediocre Dodger prospect to be called-up and then cries whenever some random single-A ball prospect gets traded.
Scott Van Slyke won’t be the answer, but he may provide some power on the bench for the Dodgers. You do know that Herrera can play first base too, and second base, and third, and the outfield, and shortstop. He plays all positions, and can switch-hit, and can run the bases well. I guess Van Slyke couldn’t hurt as long as he is used properly. That means keeping him on the bench as a pinch-hitter/bench masher, and occasional fill-in for Gonzalez when his neck is bothering him. As long as you never play him in the outfield. I mean never EVER! I think we all remember how bad he was in the outfield last season. Let’s not go down that road again.
Van Slyke’s contributions will depend on how he is used, and how well he can adjust and make the transition from lifelong Pacific Coast League masher, to Major league hitter. Here’s to hoping that transition is a smooth one. Otherwise I’ll be the first one to rip him a new one for the entire internet to see. Good luck Scott.