Scott Van Slyke has been designated for assignment by the Dodgers who needed… (Paul Connors / Associated…)
Who says baseball is not a tough business? Certainly not Scott Van Slyke, who a couple a heartbeats ago was a rising star, but Wednesday was designated for assignment.
The Dodgers needed to make room on their 40-man roster for Skip Schumaker, the utility player acquired Tuesday in a deal with the St. Louis Cardinals.
The Cardinals, his father Andy Van Slyke’s former team.
Van Slyke was the Dodgers’ minor league player of the year after his seemingly breakout season in 2011. He got 54 at-bats with the Dodgers last season, admittedly looking overmatched in batting .167.
But back at triple-A Albuquerque he still hit .327, with 18 home runs and 67 runs batted in, with .404 on-base and .578 slugging percentages. He was no kid at 26, but he was one of the Dodgers' few prospects with some power. He’s an outfielder who can play first base, and who else do the Dodgers have who can do that should Adrian Gonzalez do down?
Somebody had to go, but the Dodgers passed on Justin Sellers (coming off back surgery), John Ely (whose time appears to have come and gone) and even -- drum roll, please -- Juan Uribe (yeah, he is owed $7 million next season, but come on).
So even if you determined Van Slyke -- who went without a September call-up -- did not have a real major league future, he seemed more useful than some. And since the chances of him going unclaimed by some team that doesn’t actually have a $220-million payroll is reasonably high, you have to at least wonder whether something else isn’t going on here.
Before he clears waivers the Dodgers could trade him, possibly making him part of a deal that includes trading one of their surplus starting pitchers. Or maybe not. Maybe they just figured his future was limited. For a guy who was all that just last off-season.
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