LOS ANGELES — The Dodgers activated outfielder Franklin Gutierrez off the disabled list on Tuesday, just in time to start against Giants left-handed starting pitcher Matt Moore.
The corresponding move was to option Scott Van Slyke to Triple-A Oklahoma City.
Gutierrez missed 19 games after suffering a left hamstring strain on April 10 against the Cubs at Wrigley Field. He played two games on a rehab assignment with Class-A Rancho Cucamonga, going 3-for-6 with a home run and a walk for the Quakes.
He played five innings in left field on Saturday, then six more innings in left on Sunday before rejoining the team on Monday in Los Angeles.
Gutierrez, signed to a one-year, $2.6 million contract in the offseason to be the right-handed half of a platoon in left field, started all four games against left-handed pitching before getting hurt.
He is 3-for-13 with two doubles and a walk this season in six games, hitting .231/.286/.385.
“We acquired Franklin to be active, to hit left-handed pitching, and he’s healthy,” manager Dave Roberts said. “Just the presence against a left-hander is big. Also when we face right-handed pitching, to have that potential threat off the bench. He can change the game.”
When Gutierrez sidelined, the Dodgers faced eight left-handed starters. Kike Hernandez started three of those games, Van Slyke started two as did Cody Bellinger, and Brett Eibner started once.
Dodgers left fielders this season are hitting .237/.302/.454 with six home runs, a 100 wRC+. But those left fielders against left-handed pitchers — in all of 37 plate appearances — are hitting .182/.270/.333 with one home run.
Van Slyke struggled in part-time duty this season, just 4-for-31 (.129) with a home run, a double, and five walks in 21 games. He missed large chunks of the last two seasons on the disabled list, but hadn’t been sent down to the minors other than on a rehab assignment since 2013.
“It was a tough one. Slykey has been a mainstay here for a number of years. He’s gone through a lot, physically, and inconsistent playing time being a role player,” Roberts said. “It gives him the opportunity to go down to Triple-A and to get some consistent at-bats, and play. There’s some mechanical things he’s working though. We expect him back at some point.”