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.
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