LOS ANGELES -- The Dodgers are going with an all-righty outfield against Giants left-handed starter Madison Bumgarner in Saturday's second game of the series at Dodger Stadium, with left-handed batters Andre Ethier and Carl Crawford both sitting.
"This guy is tough on lefties. He's tough on everyone," manager Don Mattingly said. "Scottie hasn't played in a while, and we have to keep him in the mix."
Van Slyke started Opening Day in left field and had a home run an a double, but has just one plate appearance and one inning in right field in the five regular season games since. He is 0-for-2 with a walk in his career against Bumgarner.
Ethier is 3-for-24 (.125) with nine strikeouts against Bumgarner, while Crawford is 0-for-3.
"[Bumgarner] would be a tough at-bat for Crawford and Ethier," Mattingly explained. "I talked with Carl and Dre before the game, but I don't think this is going to have to be an everyday thing."
Justin Turner starts at second base, also his first start since Opening Day. The Dodgers have stuck with a strict platoon so far at second base, with Turner against left-handed starters and Dee Gordon against right-handers.
Paul Maholm will try to keep his strikeout rate at 100% in his first start of the season. Through the first six games of the season, the southpaw has pitched in just one game so far. On March 23 in Australia, in the second game against the Diamondbacks, Maholm struck out the only batter he faced in just the second relief appearance of his career.
In the two weeks since, Maholm's time on the mound has been limited to an intrasquad game at Dodger Stadium on March 26 and a bullpen session on Wednesday in San Diego. Mattingly said possible rust is a concern, but that Maholm built up his arm strength throughout spring training and was able to do all of his side work in preparation to start.
Mattingly said that Josh Beckett's ankle was sore on Saturday morning after turning it Friday night in a minor league rehab start, but that the right-hander is still in the mix to start next week. Beckett would likely slot in either Wednesday against the Tigers or Friday in Arizona, with Hyun-jin Ryu likely starting the other of those two contests.
I asked who the emergency catcher is on this team, and while it was determined the likely choice would be Justin Turner or Chone Figgins, Mattingly's response seemed more fitting. "You have a lot of time on your hands," he quipped.
Raul Mondesi will be back at Dodger Stadium on Sunday, hosting a clothing drive beginning at 3 p.m. during Viva Los Dodgers. Mondesi is now the mayor of San Cristobal in the Dominican Republic.