Van Slyke called up; Herrera optioned
Dodgers transfer Billingsley, who had Tommy John surgery, to 60-day DL
LOS ANGELES -- Still searching for a power bat off the bench, the Dodgers promoted Scott Van Slyke from Triple-A Albuquerque on Friday.
In a corresponding roster move, utility man Elian Herrera was optioned to Albuquerque. The Dodgers transferred right-hander Chad Billingsley to the 60-day disabled list to clear room for Van Slyke on the 40-man roster.
In 34 games with the Isotopes, Van Slyke hit .397 with nine homers, 30 RBIs and a .503 on-base percentage. He appeared in 27 games with the Dodgers in 2012, going 9-for-54 (.167) with two homers and seven RBIs. Van Slyke projects as a backup corner outfielder and first baseman.
"Obviously, at this point, you look for offense," manager Don Mattingly said before Friday night's game against the Marlins. "But he's the right mixture that we need. We need a guy that can play first, both outfield positions at the corners and be right-handed. We're looking for more than we've gotten so far, as much as anything."
Herrera was recalled on Tuesday and started Wednesday against the D-backs, going 1-for-3.
The Dodgers didn't promote Van Slyke earlier this week because he had not played the outfield in the Minors this season, and the club felt Herrera was a better fit to replace injured utility man Jerry Hairston. Van Slyke appeared in the outfield the past three games with the Isotopes.
Van Slyke also gives the Dodgers protection at first base if Adrian Gonzalez aggravates his mild neck strain again, as he did Wednesday when he left the game after four innings.
Billingsley had Tommy John surgery on April 24 and is out for the season.