If the Dodgers’ series opener against the San Francisco Giants had lasted a couple of more innings, outfielder Scott Van Slyke would have pitched. Pitcher Mat Latos would have replaced Van Slyke in right field.
“I’m serious,” Manager Don Mattingly said.
To Van Slyke’s relief, that scenario never played out. The game, which started Monday night and extended into early Tuesday morning, ended in the 14th inning when Adrian Gonzalez singled with the bases loaded for a 5-4 victory by the Dodgers.
“We probably wouldn’t have won the game if I had got in there,” Van Slyke said.
The Dodgers used every position player in the 5-hour 29-minute marathon. The only available pitcher they didn’t use was J.P. Howell. Clayton Kershaw pinch-hit in the 11th inning and reliever Chris Hatcher batted in the 13th.
The victory was probably as important for Hatcher as it was for the Dodgers.
Hatcher, who entered the game with a 5.32 earned-run average, pitched the last three innings for the Dodgers. He delivered a career-high 45 pitches.
Asked whether he had thrown that many pitches in a game, the converted catcher joked, “Probably Arizona, the day I got whacked around.”
The Dodgers also received a significant contribution from Jim Johnson, who pitched the 10th and 11th innings.
Van Slyke laughed when asked to describe his pitching style.
“No idea,” he said.
But the mound isn’t an entirely foreign place to Van Slyke, who pitched in a minor league game in 2008.
Van Slyke was a fourth-year minor league player at the time floudering in Class A. He said the Dodgers considered turning him into a pitcher.
The experiment lasted one game, in which Van Slyke gave up two runs in one inning. He gave up a hit and three walks.
With teams permitted to expand their rosters, the Dodgers added five players.
The group included two unexpected inclusions, right-hander Joe Wieland and outfielder Justin Ruggiano.
Wieland was promoted from triple-A Oklahoma City to bolster a bullpen that was heavily taxed in the series opener. Ruggiano, who was acquired from the Seattle Mariners on Monday night, was also called up from the minors to provide the Dodgers with a right-handed-hitting outfielder while Yasiel Puig and Enrique Hernandez are sidelined.
To create a place for Ruggiano on the 40-man roster, the Dodgers promoted Josh Ravin from triple A and put him on the 60-day disabled list.
As expected, the Dodgers activated right-hander Joel Peralta from the disabled list and called up catcher Austin Barnes, left-hander Ian Thomas and right-hander Mike Bolsinger from the minors.
Another minor trade
Ruggiano wasn’t the only minor league outfielder acquired in a trade Monday night.
The Dodgers announced Tuesday morning that they reacquired Chris Heisey, whom they released last month. In exchange for Heisey, the Dodgers will send the Toronto Blue Jays cash or a player to be named.
Heisey played 17 games for the Dodgers this season and batted .154.
Four Dodgers minor league position players will represent the organization in the Arizona Fall League: catcher Kyle Farmer, infielders Brandon Dixon and Brandon Trinkwon, and outfielder Jacob Scavuzzo.
The AFL is a finishing school for baseball’s top prospects.
Farmer, Dixon and Trinkwon are in double A. Scavuzzo plays in Class A.
The Dodgers are expected to the four players on the Glendale Desert Dogs, the AFL affiliate they share with the Houston Astros, Philadelphia Phillies, Pittsburgh Pirates and Chicago White Sox.