Dodgers outfielder Juan Rivera hits a run-scoring single against Pittsburgh… (Jeff Gross / Getty Images )
The Dodgers are getting seriously hamstrung, but at least it hasn’t struck Matt Kemp more severely.
The news, however, was not so good for outfielder Juan Rivera on Wednesday. He was put on the 15-day disabled list because of a strained left hamstring.
Although not officially announced, the Dodgers have called up outfielder Scott Van Slyke from triple-A Albuquerque to fill Rivera's spot on the roster. The Dodgers were hoping Van Slyke would arrive at Dodger Stadium before Wednesday’s game against the San Francisco Giants.
[Updated, 7:13 p.m. May 9: The Dodgers made the move official prior to the start of Wednesday's game. Van Slyke was with the team and will wear No. 33.]
Meanwhile,Jerry Hairston Jr.’s sore hamstring has not responded as hoped and he was sent for an MRI exam.
“It’s not as good as we hoped it would be,” Manager Don Mattingly said.
Hairston injured the hamstring Sunday running out an infield hit in Chicago. Rivera was injured in the seventh inning Tuesday against the Giants and initially did not think it was serious.
“I felt something when I slid into third base,” Rivera said.
Rivera, however, had hardly been on fire at the plate. He was batting just .247, with .276 on-base and .358 slugging percentages, respectively. With everyone not named Andre Ethier and Kemp on the team failing to provide power, his 13 runs batted in were third on the team. He was batting .280 with runners in scoring position.
Mattingly termed Rivera’s hamstring injury “fairly major.”
Van Slyke, the team’s reigning minor league player of the year, was batting .336 with eight homers and 25 RBIs in 32 games at Albuquerque, and had .411 on-base and .623 slugging percentages.
This is his first trip to the majors. If he starts Friday, he would face Colorado’s 49-year-old Jamie Moyer. As Jon Weisman noted, Van Slyke’s father, Andy, was four for 19 with a double, homer, two walks and seven strikeouts against Moyer.
The Dodgers called up Van Slyke instead of Jerry Sands, the previous minor league player of the year. Sands struggled during spring training (.158 batting average) and hasn’t exactly turned it around in Albuquerque (.233, 4, 24).
Kemp remained in the lineup after tweaking a hamstring Saturday.
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