White Sox @ Dodgers June 2, 2014: No Really, Scott Van Slyke Is Playing Center

dodger_stadium_openingday2013I know we talked about this just a few hours ago, but apparently it’s not a joke: Scott Van Slyke really and truly is starting in center field. Oddly enough, none of the beat writers have had a lot to say about the situation yet, so we don’t know what went into Don Mattingly‘s decision, or what Matt Kemp thinks, or — and probably the most interesting — what Van Slyke himself thinks. I’m just envisioning him walking by the lineup sheet and doing the world’s biggest double-take. “Wait… really?”

Anyway, more on that later, no doubt, so let’s talk about another lineup decision for a second. Dee Gordon takes a seat against lefty Jose Quintana, which is absolutely correct. Gordon has been slumping against everyone over the last few weeks, but he’s absolutely unplayable against lefties, with a .188/.220/.229 season line. To get him out makes sense, and with Justin Turner needed at third, there’s really not any other choice than Chone Figgins. (I think I only just now remembered that Erisbel Arruebarrena is still on this team. He hasn’t had a plate appearance in a week, and hasn’t seen the field since last Tuesday. Player development!)

White Sox
Dodgers
7:10pm PT
Los Angeles, CA
CF
Eaton
2B
Figgins
2B
Beckham
LF
Kemp
1B
Abreu
RF
Puig
LF
Viciedo
SS
Ramirez
SS
Ramirez
1B
Gonzalez
3B
Gillaspie
CF
Van Slyke
C
Flowers
3B
Turner
RF
Sierra
C
Butera
P
Quintana (L)
P
Kershaw (L)

The problem, I guess, is putting Figgins leadoff, thus ensuring that he gets more plate appearances than anyone. Then again, I can’t immediately say there’s a better option. I certainly don’t want Puig hitting with nobody on in front of him; we saw that happen last night far too often. What the hell, just put Van Slyke there too and let’s really have a party.

In the meantime, the Dodgers face the White Sox tonight, and that’s not a matchup we see all that often. (In a regular season sense, I guess. In the spring, where the two clubs share a complex in Glendale, they see each other regularly.)

In other news, I guess they changed the rules and other teams are allowed to have Cubans now, which is disappointing, because the White Sox welcome back Jose Abreu to the lineup tonight, after two weeks on the shelf with an ankle injury. Abreu has a lot of swing-and-miss in his swing, but absolutely massive raw power; his .595 slugging percentage is the sixth-highest in baseball. Quintana, by the way, isn’t a big name, but he’s not a pushover; his FIP of 3.03 is both outstanding and a Top-25 mark in baseball.

ThrowsRelieverSat 10/15Sun 10/16Mon 10/17Tue 10/18Wed 10/19Thur 10/20Fri 10/21
LAvilan--OFF-2421OFF
RBaez34-OFF-2727OFF
RBlanton28-OFF13-19OFF
LDayton3-OFF16-12OFF
RFields--OFF-910OFF
RJansen-18OFF21--OFF
RStripling10-OFF-2018OFF
LWood--OFF-32-OFF

About Mike Petriello

Mike Petriello
Mike writes about lots of baseball in lots of places, and right now that place is MLB.com.