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Dodgers to be without Scott Van Slyke longer than expected

LOS ANGELES -- The Los Angeles Dodgers will head into an American League park at Tampa Bay on Tuesday and Wednesday, facing a pair of Rays left-handers in the process.

It would have been the perfect time to have a guy like Scott Van Slyke on the roster, which the Dodgers do not.

In fact, there was some bad news reported by manager Dave Roberts in regard to Van Slyke’s back injury that has had him on the disabled list since the first week of the season. The outfielder/first baseman was supposed to resume baseball activity this week, but that will not happen.

“Just in talking to (the training staff) and seeing (Van Slyke), he’s coming around better, but to even see him play catch or hit off a tee, we’re still a week from that,” Roberts said.

Not only would Van Slyke have been a good choice to play against lefties, the entire upcoming road trip to Tampa Bay and Toronto will be played on artificial turf. Van Slyke not only could have been used to give Carl Crawford a break in left field, he could have played a little first base for a struggling Adrian Gonzalez.

As for who will be the designated hitter on the upcoming trip, Roberts had mentioned Howie Kendrick at one point, but said he remains undecided.

“I will talk to guys like Adrian and Justin Turner and see how they’re feeling,” Roberts said. “On the flight we’ll have conversations and I will lay it out.”

Turner entered Sunday’s game having gone 5-for-20 during the current six-game losing streak, while Gonzalez had gone 0-for-17 with seven strikeouts.