Van Slyke could return after road trip

Van Slyke could return after road trip

LOS ANGELES -- Scott Van Slyke is progressing toward a return to the Dodgers. Manager Dave Roberts said Tuesday he expects Van Slyke (back) to come off the disabled list around June 3-4, after the club's upcoming seven-game road trip.

Until then, Roberts said the Dodgers will continue with a short bench and an additional reliever through series against the Mets and Cubs in New York and Chicago.

"We're managing to get through with a four-man bench," Roberts said, "and I think that just giving us the flexibility of different guys in the 'pen is more of a priority."

The Dodgers lost Van Slyke to a lower back injury in the first week of the season. He's currently on a Minor League rehab assignment. He started at first base and batted second for Triple-A Oklahoma City in Fresno, Calif., on Tuesday night.

Prior to his injury, Van Slyke was just 1-for-9 with a double and two RBIs through four games. His return next month will be a boost to the Dodgers' right-handed hitting depth.

Worth noting

• Catcher Yasmani Grandal rejoined the Dodgers' lineup Tuesday. Grandal exited Saturday's game in the 10th inning after fouling a ball off his right ankle. Grandal did not start the past two games, but he struck out in a pinch-hit appearance on Sunday.

"He said he feels considerably better than a few days ago," Roberts said. "Now that [he] is back to being near full strength, it just makes sense to get him back in there."

• Roberts is still mulling options for his starting rotation with Thursday's off-day. Roberts said his preference is generally to give every starter an additional day of rest, but he didn't rule out potentially skipping one pitcher's turn in the rotation.

"I think it's been documented by everyone, if a starting pitcher gets that extra day, they perform better," Roberts said. "And not every pitcher, every start, but for the most part, that's fair."

Chad Thornburg is a reporter for MLB.com based in Los Angeles. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.