Playing in a group of outfielders that includes Carl Crawford, Andre Ethier, Joc Pederson and Yasiel Puig, Scott Van Slyke doesn’t figure to be an every day starter with the Los Angeles Dodgers.
However, that isn’t to diminish the role Van Slyke fills for the club. He played all three outfield positions and some first base last season while establishing himself as a potent hitter against left-handed pitching.
In 130 plate appearances, Van Slyke ended the year batting .315/.415/.630 with eight home runs and 17 RBIs against lefties. The 28 year old had yet to find the same success heading into Saturday’s game, which was his eighth of the spring.
Bruce Chen got the start for the Cleveland Indians in place of Carlos Carrasco, who was scratched due to sickness. Chen retired the Dodgers in order in the first inning and faced Van Slyke with one out in the second.
After getting ahead in the count, Chen gave up a towering solo home run to Van Slyke that gave the Dodgers a 1-0 lead. The home run was Van Slyke’s first of the spring and gave him three RBIs to that point.