Van Slyke also hit two home runs, driving in four runs in the Dodgers' 6-2 victory over the
"I'll do what they tell me," Van Slyke said. "I'll be a humble servant."
The cries to call up top prospect Joc Pederson and put him in center field ignore the fact that Van Slyke has earned the chance to share the position with
Before the game, Crawford said the Dodgers' outfield alignment has been so much in flux that players cannot simply do what the coaches tell them.
"They tell us one thing and something else happens," Crawford said. "We can't go by what they say. It's been frustrating for all of us. We have to be men about the situation and accept what is going on and try to do the best for the team."
The Dodgers' outfield alignment at this moment: Yasiel Puig is in right field, every day. Ethier and Van Slyke are platooning in center field, with Van Slyke occasionally spelling
Kemp is in left field every day, until Crawford gets back. Manager
Van Slyke, labeled as the fifth outfielder, is the only player besides Puig with an OPS above 1.000. The Dodgers play him sparingly against right-handers, but he has absolutely crushed left-handers.
In 43 at-bats against left-handers, he has 13 hits, 11 for extra bases. He has six home runs, one more than Kemp has this season, against all comers. Van Slyke also has 12 walks against left-handers, giving him an otherworldly 1.311 OPS against them.
That might earn Van Slyke an everyday opportunity on some teams, but not this one.
"I'm not sure that comes here," Mattingly said.
The obvious reason is that there are four established players ahead of him, one superstar and three highly compensated veterans. But Mattingly also said Van Slyke was "not necessarily an everyday player."
Van Slyke is on pace for 15 home runs. Play him every day — and right-handers pitch more often — and Mattingly said Van Slyke might hit 20 home runs.
After spending all or part of nine seasons in the minor leagues, Van Slyke is content to hit against left-handers and sit against right-handers.
"I know what I'm here for," he said. "I don't mind it. I like it. I'm not going to complain."
Crawford says he does not know what he is here for.
"I don't know what I'm going to play when I get back," Crawford said. "I just don't really know what my situation is going to be."
If Kemp hits well enough to keep playing every day, it is possible that Van Slyke could play more than Crawford.
"I want to take care of my part," Crawford said. "If I was a guessing man, I would say they will go with whoever is hitting."