What went right
The Dodgers lost both Matt Kemp and Carl Crawford to hamstring injuries in May, and since Puig mania hadn't yet migrated from Chattanoga to Los Angeles, Van Slyke was very much needed to provide stability to the outfield. So they called on Van Slyke, who was hitting .397/.503/.733 with nine home runs in 34 games with Triple-A Albuquerque.
Van Slyke was hot early, and after his May 10 promotion to the Dodgers hit .255/.317/.673 with six home runs in his first 19 games. After the first week of June Van Slyke was second on both the Dodgers and the Isotopes in home runs.
"Running the bases, I was thinking I'm about to get my jersey torn off. I wanted to take my jersey off before I got home," Van Slyke said with a smile. "It's fun. It's worth it."
What went wrong
Van Slyke after that initial power burst had one home run in 34 games with the Dodgers the rest of the season, hitting .217 (17-for-74) during that span. In fairness to Van Slyke, he was up and down quite often between Albuquerque and L.A. during that time, and did put up a .359 on-base percentage even while slumping.
He was sent down to the minors four separate times in 2013, and the happy go lucky Van Slyke took it all in stride.
"He's been good. He's taken it really well. The last two or three times I've sent him down he came into the office smiling, knowing what was going on," manager Don Mattingly said in September.
"Knowing you can come here and contribute, that it's just a matter of time before you get back," Van Slyke said. "Being up here is way more fun than being in the minor leagues. It kind of drives you a little bit to work hard once you get back down there."
Van Slyke was designated for assignment last December, but his roster spot seems much more secure heading into this offseason. He has just under a year of service time and will be under team control next season. He has one option year remaining.