The Los Angeles Dodgers entered the 2016 season without their starting left fielder as Andre Ethier sustained a fractured right tibia in late March, and without one backup option as Alex Guerrero was forced to the disabled list due to lingering left knee trouble.
Carl Crawford received the first opportunity to fill the void left by Ethier, and Crawford started the first three games of the season. In effort to keep the veteran outfielder fresh, Dodgers manager Dave Roberts replaced Crawford with Trayce Thompson at various points throughout the three games.
Crawford then reported feeling back discomfort and was placed on the 15-day disabled list. That left Scott Van Slyke to step in, though it was short lived. Van Slyke tweaked his back on April 9 and was placed on the DL three days later.
Both Crawford and Van Slyke expressed a belief their respective injury wasn’t serious and that a stint on the DL would be avoided. While Crawford is nearing a return, Van Slyke has yet to resume baseball activities.
What’s more, Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said the injury the 29 year old suffered is more serious than the lower-back irritation he was initially diagnosed with, and Van Slyke is multiple weeks from being activated, according to ESPN’s Doug Padilla:
Van Slyke is still expected to be about a week from returning to baseball activities, and after that it will be a slow comeback. “I’d say from the point he starts, to get back to playing with us, it’s a couple, two, three weeks,” Roberts said.
Van Slyke is eligible to come off the DL on Monday, when the Dodgers open a six-game homestand. In limited action this season, Van Slyke is 1-for-9 with one double and two RBIs. Prior to the start of Spring Training, the versatile outfielder said he was hoping to recapture his 2014 form.
As for Crawford, his joining Triple-A Oklahoma City on a rehab assignment was delayed due to travel issues. The plan called for Crawford to play three games with OKC beginning Wednesday, then get reinstated from the DL on Sunday. It’s uncertain at this time if that’s now changed.