Even with 25 players on the roster to accommodate a nine-player lineup, sometimes teams have to do a little patchwork to make ends meet. Such was the case — briefly — for the Los Angeles Dodgers during their six-game road trip.
In the ninth inning during the middle of a three-game set against the San Francisco Giants, A.J. Ellis was struck on his right hand by a foul ball that ricocheted off Justin Maxwell. Ellis attempted to remain in the game, but after a few unsuccessful practice throws to the mound, he was removed.
X-rays on Ellis’ throwing hand came back negative, however he didn’t play the following day. With Ellis limited, it left the Dodgers with Yasmani Grandal as the only catcher on the active roster. According to Pedro Moura of the OC Register, Scott Van Slyke would have been used in an emergency situation after beating out Alex Guerrero and Justin Turner:
Scott Van Slyke, Justin Turner and Alex Guerrero were among the participants, with Van Slyke winning the honors. He isn’t quite sure what the job entails or what won him the job – other than he likes to occasionally catch pitchers’ warm-up throws.
Despite beating out Turner and Guerrero, Van Slyke isn’t all that confident in his abilities as a backup catcher:
I would definitely have to get some bullpens in to feel comfortable,” Van Slyke said. “I always feel unequipped when I’m warming up the pitchers in between innings.”
Van Slyke has appeared in 13 games this season, including six starts. He’s spent nine games in left field and one at both first base and right field. Considering the injury to Carl Crawford, Van Slyke figures to continue seeing the majority of his playing time in left.
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