Already without Andre Ethier and a slew of others, the Los Angeles Dodgers quickly needed to rely on their roster depth and versatility this season as left fielder Carl Crawford and outfielder/first baseman Scott Van Slyke were placed on the disabled list by April 12.
And in both cases, each player initially believed they wouldn’t require a stint on the DL. Crawford returned soon after he was eligible to be reinstated, but Van Slyke’s recovery hasn’t been nearly as positive.
Dodgers manager Dave Roberts revealed Van Slyke back’s injury was worse than the lower-back irritation he was initially placed on the DL with.
The 29 year old was recently limited to breathing activities to strengthen his core, and wasn’t yet participating in batting practice or other typical pregame routines.
Van Slyke has since been cleared for baseball activities, but is still at least one month from returning, according to Bill Plunkett of the OC Register:
Roberts said Scott Van Slyke has been cleared to begin baseball activities on Friday. Still "best-case scenario" for return is early June
— Bill Plunkett (@billplunkettocr) May 4, 2016
Van Slyke played in just four games before the injury, going 1-for-9 with a double and two RBIs. After being slowed by a wrist injury toward the end of last season, which kept him off the postseason roster, Van Slyke hoped he’d recapture the success he had in 2014.
That season he hit .297/.386/.524 with 11 home runs and 29 RBIs in 246 plate appearances. Van Slyke batted .239/.317/.383 with 14 doubles, six home runs and 30 RBIs in 253 plate appearances last season.