Dodger Thoughts

Jon Weisman's outlet for dealing psychologically with the Los Angeles Dodgers, baseball and life

Grandal and Kendrick activated, Van Slyke to DL

Scott Van Slyke, before the pain. (Jon SooHoo/Los Angeles Dodgers)

Scott Van Slyke, before the pain. (Jon SooHoo/Los Angeles Dodgers)

Diamondbacks at Dodgers, 1:10 p.m.
Kiké Hernandez, LF
Yasiel Puig, RF
Adrian Gonzalez, 1B
Justin Turner, 3B
Howie Kendrick, 2B
Trayce Thompson, CF
Corey Seager, SS
A.J. Ellis, C
Kenta Maeda, P

By Jon Weisman

The Dodgers lost one more player to the disabled list but gained two back today.

Howie Kendrick and Yasmani Grandal have returned to the active roster for the Dodgers, who placed Scott Van Slyke on the DL with lower back irritation.

Kendrick is starting today at second base, but Dave Roberts added that he could see some time in left field in the short term (given the Dodgers’ quantity of injured outfielders and the strong start by infielder Chase Utley). Kendrick has 26 career MLB games in left, most recently in with the Angels.

“We were talking about when Howie resigned with us, he was open to playing some outfield, so we might be dipping into that well,” Roberts said.

Kendrick is taking the roster spot of Micah Johnson, who was optioned late Monday.

Though Grandal’s first start of the season won’t come until Wednesday, he could see action off the bench today. With three catchers now on the roster, Roberts wouldn’t need to hesitate to use Grandal as a pinch-hitter against Arizona’s bullpen.

“I like him for today’s game against (Brad) Ziegler — he could come off the bench — and also, I like him against (Tyler) Clippard,” Roberts said. “So I think to have that flexibility, that left-handed bat off the bench, that helps in the game.”

Van Slyke hurt himself in Saturday’s game, saying “I felt a jolt in my back when I stood up really quick for a pop fly in the outfield.” The Dodgers expect Van Slyke to be healthy within a week, but didn’t want to play a man down during that time.

“You’ve seen how aggressive we are as far as putting people on the disabled list,” Roberts said. “For me, I’d rather err on that side, especially when we have the depth that we have, instead of playing with 24 or 23 guys for the next two or three days, or whatever it might be. If you’re talking about a bat, or you’re talking about Yasi’s forearm that was bothering him … I just feel that it’s best to take it out of the player’s hands.

“There are certain games throughout the season and the player says, ‘It’s gonna be two days, I’m available, I can still help us.’ Then you kind of defer to them. But I think other times, you’ve got to be aggressive and make that move.”

Roberts was eager to turn his focus to the game at hand today. He said that though he didn’t want to sound jaded about his first home Opening Day as manager, there was only one bit of pomp and circumstance that he was looking forward to.

“When we’re shaking hands after the ninth inning,” Roberts said.


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  1. jpavko

    Wht couldn’t they have just released the lumbering oaf?

    • Jon Weisman

      It’s time you stopped saying the same thing over and over again each time Van Slyke’s name is mentioned. You’ve made your point.

      • Thanks Jon, I’m fine player bashing for the ones who deserve it, but jpavco treats SVS like he did something personally to him.

    • SVS has put up OPS+ 116 during his career and last year led the team in dWAR. All this at barely above the MLB minimum salary

  2. van Slyke is not the problem tho the team is probably better where he is now

    The problem is two fold:

    (dead) Wood and Joe Blanton

    Why not get some rookie arm experence in those two current roster spots that are a drag

    • I’d prefer Wood goes to pen replacing Howell. Blanton is fine, if Roberts used him as long man as intended. Bolsinger hopefully comes back soon and these changes can be made.

  3. Don’t want to seem pessimistic but this home opener pretty much revealed the problems this team has been having ever since the SD series. Lack of offensive firepower, impatience at the plate, and an unreliable bullpen. Another fine effort by Maeda but totally wasted.

    • Basically why I think this is a 3rd place team. Sure it’s great to have the depth, but if its not that great and you need to rely on it too much, it’ll be exposed.

  4. When this team is healthy, you’ll see more offense. The bullpen dies need work.

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