Another day, another injured Dodgers outfielder. This time it’s Scott Van Slyke, who’s been placed on the disabled list with a back injury.
Van Slyke has been pushed into extended action by injuries to Carl Crawford and Yasiel Puig, hitting .264 with two homers and a .715 OPS in 34 games. He was fantastic in a part-time role last season, hitting .297 with 11 homers and a .910 OPS in 246 plate appearances.
Chris Heisey replaced Van Slyke on the roster and will compete with Alex Guerrero for playing time alongside Joc Pederson and Andre Ethier in the banged-up outfield.
Yasiel Puig’s first attempt at a minor league rehab assignment was halted about a month ago due to a setback with his left hamstring strain, but he’s starting to ramp things up again.
Dodgers manager Don Mattingly told Ken Gurnick of MLB.com that Puig was able to run at nearly 100 percent Monday at the team’s Camelback Ranch complex in Arizona. While Mattingly wouldn’t provide a timeline for his return, Puig hinted via his Twitter account this afternoon that another minor league rehab assignment likely isn’t far off.
Puig, who has been out since April 24, was hitting .279 (12-for-43) with two home runs and four RBI over his first 11 games prior to the injury. The Dodgers’ depth has been tested with Carl Crawford also sidelined, but players like Andre Ethier, Alex Guerrero, and Scott Van Slyke have done a nice job filling in.
Reds reliever Tony Cingrani hit Bryce Harper in the back with a fastball in the seventh inning of Friday night’s game against the Nationals. Here’s the video. Putting Harper on first base meant that the tying run was only 270 feet away from home plate, so it’s difficult to see Cingrani wanting to hit Harper on purpose in that situation.
As Harper was hit square in the back, he took his time getting to first base. Per MLB.com’s Mark Sheldon, first baseman Joey Votto was not happy about the way Harper handled the situation, for some reason. He was 0-for-3 to that point, so it wasn’t like he gawked at a home run.
Cingrani wasn’t happy about Harper, either.
Harper is still only 22 years old, but he’s in his fourth year in the majors and has unquestionably been the best player in baseball so far this season. For whatever reason, some players like Harper — as well as Yasiel Puig and Carlos Gomez — become lightning rods with which older players use to make points about the unwritten rules.
Grant Brisbee wrote a terrific column about baseball’s unwritten rules at SB Nation recently, which certainly has relevance here.