So Long Van Slyke

Scott Van Slyke

The Dodgers optioned Scott Van Slyke to make room for fellow outfielder Franklin Gutierrez who was activated from the disabled list on Tuesday afternoon. Gutierrez was battling a hamstring injury and the Dodgers needed roster space. So they bid adieu to Van Slyke. The move definitely made sense. As I explained before, Van Slyke was one of a few roster spot wasters on the Dodgers and there was no reason to keep him since injury and age has rendered his offensive skills useless.

Yes Van Slyke is bad now. In 2017 before being optioned Van Slyke was batting .129 ( 4 for 31) with one home run and a .508 OPS. Van Slyke has recorded a putrid .250 OBP and had more strikeouts (12) than extra-base hits (2). In 21 games played this year, Van Slyke has a 39 OPS + His career has been derailed by injuries over the last few years. Yes He’s bad, and sending him down to Oklahoma City helps rid the club of an automatic out.

But I can’t help but remember all the good times that Van Slyke has provided the Dodgers. You see I’m a sentimental type of a guy, and I look back on Van Slyke’s career with fond memories. The son of former MLB center fielder Andy Van Slyke was drafted by the Dodgers in the 14 round of the 2005 amateur draft. He didn’t make his MLB debut until the 2012 season.

If you remember Van Slyke recorded his first major league hit in his first game against the Giants back on May 9, 2012. That was a broken-bat pinch-hit single. That 2012 team was an interesting one. Who could forget those upstart Dodgers. Back then his teammates included Bobby Abreu, James Loney, and Tony Gwynn Jr among others.

Van Slyke’s first major league home run came nearly five years ago to the day on May 20, 2012 against the Cardinals on Sunday night baseball. The Dodgers were down 5-2 in the seventh and Van Slyke was pinch-hitting against left hander Marc Rzepczynski with two runners on base. Van Slyke was thrown three consecutive balls to get ahead of the count 3-0. The camera panned over to Cardinal’s manager Mike Matheny who was seen mouthing the words “He’s swinging”. Swinging he was as Van Sluggo bombed a three-run shot over the fence to give the Dodgers a 6-5 win.

That would be the first of his 28 career MLB home runs. He’s had a walk-off shot or two as well. One was against the Marlins in 2015.

Oh and this one too….

How could anyone forget his goofy standoff before the national anthem of game 6 of the 2013 NLCS

Van Slyke’s best season was probably the 2013 year when he batted .297 with a .386 OBP and 11 home runs in 246 plate appearances. He was always known as a lefty masher. Van Slyke posted a career .829 OPS with 18 home runs against southpaws.

We might see Van Slyke again at some point later in the season, but if we don’t how could anyone forget Andy Van Slyke’s son who fought and clawed his way to the majors. He’s been a nice power bat off the bench in the late innings and provided us with a lot of good moments. Take care Scotty.

Scott Andes

Scott Andes

Scott Andes: Former Co-editor of Lasorda’s Lair. Longtime writer and Dodger fanatic

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27 thoughts on “So Long Van Slyke

  1. I think we’ll see Scotty again this year.

    The BIG question is what happens when Joc comes back on Friday?

    And we wait and we wait.

    1. What should happen is Utley goes away.
      What likely will happen is Taylor gets sent down.
      What may happen is Bellinger goes down.
      And there’s always the pitcher to the DL play.

      1. Yeah, by then someone else will be hurt any how making the decision quite easy. Nothing like rotating chairs.

        We’re almost at that point where the music is playing and there are 1 less chair than people walking around the chairs and then the music stops and, well someone is without a chair……..that person is whom exits the 25 man roster.

  2. I liked SVS and always thought if he was given a full chance he wouldv’e hit .270 with 25-30HR during the season.

  3. I have never been a VanShyte fan, never understood why he was ever on the squad. He was just an out waiting in the on-deck circle. He collected an MLB paycheck for a number of years and it really was like robbery IMHO

    1. You obviously missed watching him play before he was injured. He was a force off the bench and had some timely hits. His injuries did not allow him to repeat that success and he spent most of the last 2 years on the DL.

      1. As far as going down, it could be a good move for him. If he gets to play more and starts hitting, the Dodgers or maybe some other team will want him.

  4. Dodgers skipper Dave Roberts acknowledged after last night’s game that there’s a chance top prospect Cody Bellinger won’t be optioned back to Triple-A when Joc Pederson is ready to return, as Bill Plunkett of the Orange County Register was among those to report. The 21-year-old has only 32 plate appearances under his belt, but he is batting a robust .345/.406/.655 with three walks to go with five strikeouts. “I think I belong,” said Bellinger. His manager seemingly agreed, praising the youngster and noting that “things can change” when addressing the question whether Bellinger would be sent back as planned. The question remains one of playing time, as the organization no doubt prefers that Bellinger play more or less every day. Unless first baseman Adrian Gonzalez is sent to the DL to rest his forearm or the club decides to reduce the playing time of its existing group of outfielders, that might be difficult for the Dodgers to arrange.

    1. Jonah, I see a DL move coming up. AGon is going to get some much needed time off. Bellinger at first and Toles/Gutierrez in left will be the order of the month. Unless of course the hole in Bellinger’s swing is discovered and he goes 0 for his next 10. He was striking out at a higher rate in AAA. What did they know that ML pitchers don’t?

  5. When I think about Scott, I think about Wade Miley.

    We haven’t saw much of Scott’s bat, since Wade Miley, got traded to the American League.

  6. Sports politics in play aplenty. AGon just came out and said that he’s got a herniated disk, and possibly needs an injection. I’d rather he take that later in the year. The writer for article in Dodger Blue spins that time off is likely more feasible now that Bellinger seems like the real deal so that AGon doesn’t feel like he’s letting the team down. Not in those exact word but we catch the drift. In the mean time Bellinger needs to be sent down to AAA for 38 days from now until the end of the season to keep from Super 2 status.

    So it looks like we’re being set up to keep Bellinger until he falters while AGon recovers and then Bellinger takes a blow in July/August, and will be back up for the stretch run. Life goes on.

    1. Yep, life goes on and the DL Shuffle is a huge part of it. We’re not the only ones that will be spinning that wheel. We’ve already got a cumulative 277 days and $7.6mm in the Jacuzzi League. Not sure if that leads MLB, but I’m betting its competitive.

    2. Explain that reasoning. You’d rather he hang around hurting and not helping the club for awhile before he then takes off for a couple of weeks, as opposed to having the injection now and coming back ina few weeks better able to help the club. You must be related to Confucius…

      1. Jonah

        I believe Agone had an injection a couple of weeks ago, when it acted up.

        What did your doctor say about your next surgery today?

    3. YF

      It isn’t like Bellinger isn’t going to find out how hard it is adjust, once pitchers know, a players weakness.

      When I saw Bellinger say that he belongs in the majors, that was the first thought, that came to my head.

      Even Corey still goes through that a little.

      But I hope Agone does go out, and Bellinger does continue to do well.

      And just because he will be tested, it doesn’t mean he doesn’t belong up in the majors..

  7. Good matchup between the next Clayton Koufax and the overpaid overrated shark. Samardzija is dealing. 54 pitches to get through 5? Dang. We’ll get to him before the 9th – right?

  8. According to Gameday, only one pitch to Turner was a strike. Yet he swung at 4 balls outside the plate. I hope they don’t let the kids watch him hit…

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