Dodgers News: Scott Van Slyke Looking To Return To 2014 Form
Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

While the Los Angeles Dodgers have undergone some roster changes during the offseason, the core of the 2015 team is in place to return this season.

One of the biggest strengths of last year’s group was depth on the bench. Injuries forced Los Angeles to rely on their bench more than anticipated, though the players responded.

Among those who filled in for injured or struggling regulars were A.J. Ellis, Andre Ethier, Kiké Hernandez and Scott Van Slyke, among others.

Van Slyke is entering his fifth season with the club, but is hoping to rebound from a disappointing close to 2015.

A wrist injury prevented Van Slyke from being included on the Dodgers’ postseason roster as his effectiveness at the plate washed away.

With Spring Training beginning in just under three weeks, the versatile outfielder has made a full recovery. “I haven’t had any problems with [the wrist] this offseason yet,” Van Slyke said.

“I obviously haven’t been diving and doing all that stuff so we’ll just see how it goes in Spring.” Van Slyke finished last season batting .239/.317/.383 with six home runs, 14 doubles and 30 RBIs in 253 plate appearances.

The 29 year old is hoping this season will resemble the success he had in 2014, which has been his best year in the Majors thus far. That season he hit .297/.386/.524 with 11 home runs and 29 RBIs in 246 plate appearances.

“I think 2014 would be my year to emulate every year. Obviously I didn’t get that last year, but for me and my role, it is important to be as productive as I can when I get the opportunity to play,” Van Slyke said.

“What that looks like, I don’t know, but I know that defensively I want to be an asset. Going into the seventh inning, I want to be able to make a play that the guy in before me couldn’t be able to make.”

The Dodgers outfield depth has been a talking point over the past three seasons, and doesn’t figure to be a topic that fades into the background anytime soon. Dodgers general manager Farhan Zaidi refuted the notion trades for Ethier, Yasiel Puig or others, are in the works.

Although Van Slyke’s role may still need to be determined, he’s more than content with simply being in the Majors. “The role is what it is and I am very happy with my job. I would never complain about being in the big leagues in any role I have,” he said.

“Obviously, when you do something in life, you want to do it to the best of your ability. So, whether that is playing once a week, I’m going to do that to the best of my ability. And whether it is playing six days a week, I’m going to do that to the best of my ability. I can only control my attitude and how I look at my situation as a positive.”