While plenty of attention has been given to the Los Angeles Dodgers’ outfield, it’s focused on center field and the competition between Andre Ethier and Joc Pederson. Manager Don Mattingly has yet to name a starter, but the expectation is he’ll go with the 22-year-old rookie.
As was often the case last season, Scott Van Slyke has flown under the radar. Part of a crowded outfield, Van Slyke isn’t a factor for an everyday starting job, but he’s nonetheless important for the Dodgers. Van Slyke’s versatility allowed Mattingly to play him at all three outfield positions as well as first base.
Van Slyke was also threat for the Dodgers as a pinch-hitter, specifically against left-handed pitching. He started in left field Friday with the Dodgers playing the second of a back-to-back in Anaheim against the Angels.
Not necessarily known for his defense and perhaps inspired by Pederson’s impressive catch the night before, Van Slyke made a diving catch in the second inning on a flare hit into shallow left field.
While the catch kept Eric Aybar from reaching base in the second inning, it was the Dodgers who were quieted in a 6-0 loss. They managed just two hits in the game with both of coming courtesy of Van Slyke.