Sunday, May 5, 2013

Dodgers hurting and their reluctance to recall Scott Van Slyke is curious

The Dodgers are hurting -- big time. Adrian Gonzalez has been scratched the last couple games, Jerry Hairston needed stitches after tripping over a bag in his hotel room and subsequently hitting his head on a desk. He also came out in the fifth inning of Saturday's game after he felt a "tweak" in his groin.

That, combined with Mark Ellis still having not been placed on the disabled list (hasn't played since April 26) and Hanley Ramirez injuring his hamstring on Friday night -- landing him on the DL -- and the Dodgers are quite the mess.

And that isn't even considering the pitching, which hasn't been that good of late. Clayton Kershaw and Kenley Jansen were nails on Friday night, while Ronald Belisario wasn't. Matt Magill was roughed up to the tune of five runs in 1 1/3 innings -- a bit disappointing after his MLB debut April 27. The bullpen has a couple of guys who probably won't be available (J.P. Howell and Javy Guerra), so Hyun-jin Ryu needs to throw a hell of a game on Sunday.

So, my question is: Why won't the Dodgers recall Scott Van Slyke?

(Photo: Van Slyke is the batter on-deck)

Van Slyke is starting to make a believer out of me (again), as he's posted a .408/.488/.767 triple slash through his first 29 games of the Triple-A season. He's doing nothing but hitting, yet he can't get the call. Instead, the Dodgers need five utility infielders, only one of whom has any pop (Juan Uribe). This team doesn't need guys like Luis Cruz or Justin Sellers, especially after recalling Dee Gordon to take over for the injured Ramirez. And Gordon did as much offensively in one game than Cruz and Sellers have done the entire season -- combined (not exaggerating as much as one might think).

Sellers has options, and no team in its right mind would place a waiver claim on a guy hitting .095. Cruz could opt for free agency and, for whatever reason, the Dodgers appear afraid of losing him to that. I mean, in what world does a guy with a .095 batting average in 67 plate appearances get to remain on a Major League baseball team?

This team needs pop off the bench. While Van Slyke is strictly a first baseman these days, a spot start every once in a while in a corner outfield spot probably isn't out of the question.

I'd be calling out for Alex Castellanos to be added to the 25-man roster, but he's on the 7-day DL in Triple-A. Both he and Van Slyke deserve to be on the team. It isn't like their development would be stunted if they were members of a Major League bench -- both are in their age-26 seasons and likely aren't going to get any better at this point, though, Van Slyke is trying to prove otherwise.

Van Slyke's improved physique should also be taken into account. He's not the same player he was last year or in previous years. He's trimmed down and it appears to be helping him.

He isn't going to save the team, but there isn't much harm in having a guy like that available off the bench.

Either that or recall Yasiel Puig (I'm only half-kidding).

Photo credit: Dustin Nosler, Feelin' Kinda Blue


  1. A month of .500 BABIP in the PCL. The management must believe that the off-chance of someone healing sooner is more valuable than having SVS on the roster. I'm not sure they are right, but it's not an utterly incomprehensible decision.

  2. When are the Dodgers going to fire thier dumb ass manager and staff. They loose most close ball games. Mattingly do not respect the other teams strength, resent exam. Braun and Goldsmith won most of last six games. Intentional walks were out of the question. Manufacturing a run is none existant. He brings in releivers without a thought process. Any good player who gets hurt is forced to play while not ready to play at an everyday level, they soon get rehurt, examples Mate Kemp who presently is always batting third when he should be batting seventh to releave pressure, since he dosen't seem to have recovered fully from last years injury's. He may never recover because of trying to play while injured.The same may happen to Gonzelas and Remireze. Mattingly is forcing them to play while hurt ant not in everyday game shape. Remerize just got back from injury and was forced to play as if he never left. After a few games he pulled a musecle. What does that say to anyone who is paying attention?
    I am afraid the Dogers have put together a great team and hired abunch of jackasses to lead them(Yankee rejects). If not careful Ganzelas and Remirize will suffer the same fate as Kemp. I am wondering if Kemp will ever regain his power again in the near future.

    Fire that jackass Mattingly and the batting coach. We will see instant improvement. Mattingly was a great baseball player, but in my judgement he is absolutele the worst manager in baseball. Keep him on and your million dollar players will become marginal. Example Kemp.