Coming into the 2014 season, the Los Angeles Dodgers’ were once again blessed, or saddled, by a crowded outfield. While the depth at times proved beneficial due to the abundance of injuries, the outfielders often found themselves battling for playing time on a consistent basis.
Largely left out of the conversation to start everyday, Scott Van Slyke still managed to carve out a role with the team. Van Slyke feasted on left-handed pitching that at times resulted in him playing more regularly than Andre Ethier.
Van Slyke batted .297 with 11 home runs and 29 RBIs in the 2014 season. Van Slyke’s contract, being just his third season in the Majors, proved to be a steal, as the utility bench player delivered in various clutch moments.
The Dodgers started the season in unusual fashion with their team trip to Australia for a two-game set against the Arizona Diamondbacks.
Van Slyke set the tone early as he started the opened the scoring for the season with a solo home run in the fourth inning. He also tacked on another RBI later in the game with a double.
Van Slyke destroyed southpaws and was also a worthy asset for the Dodgers playing first base or any of the three outfield positions. He’s pre-arbitration eligible and could see his role with the Dodgers expand should they trade one of the other outfielders.
Manager Don Mattingly said it would be difficult for the Dodgers to move forward in 2015 with the same outfield picture, however there isn’t a guarantee that Van Slyke wouldn’t necessarily be traded.
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