The last time
Now he's back, and
Van Slyke served as an incredibly efficient fifth and sixth hitter in 24 games before going on the 15-day disabled list with left shoulder
Outside those batting positions? 1 for 26.
"There's not so much pressure for you to produce," Van Slyke said of batting farther down in the order, "so you play a little more free."
Van Slyke was activated from the DL on Friday, but there's no chance he'll be seeing at-bats every day -- especially not in the fifth or sixth slots. Between Yasiel Puig,
So where will Manager
"I plan on using him more against lefties," Mattingly said. "That's pretty much how I see it. Using him against lefties a little bit, using him to give Adrian a day now and then and [as] a power guy off the bench.
"The battle will be to keep him sharp."
Van Slyke does have slightly better numbers against southpaws, hitting .241 with three home runs and six RBIs in 32 plate appearances. His production numbers are similar against righties in 42 plate appearances, but his average (.205) and strikeouts (14 to 6) show a clear differential.
His opportunities now will be fewer, but Van Slyke said with the recent offensive surge, when those chances do arise, he expects to get them with runners on.