Dodgers call up Juan Castro from triple A, send down Ivan De Jesus Jr.
The Dodgers brought up veteran infielder Juan Castro from triple-A Albuquerque on Friday while sending 24-year-old infielder Ivan De Jesus Jr. down to triple A.
Manager Don Mattingly said the move mainly was intended to give the little-used De Jesus more playing time.
“Ivan needs to play,” Mattingly said. “It’s not going to do him any good to be sitting on the bench, playing once every five, six days.”
De Jesus had appeared in 16 games with the Dodgers and was batting .194 (six for 31).
Castro, 38, returned from the disabled list Sunday after straining his left oblique muscle April 13.
“Juan gives us a guy that can play short, play third, play second,” helping fill the gaps left by injured shortstop Rafael Furcal and third baseman Casey Blake, Mattingly said.
Furcal, recovering from a broken left thumb, was scheduled to play Saturday night with the Albuquerque Isotopes when they visit Tucson as part of his rehabilitation, Mattingly said.
The goal is to get the switch-hitter 25 to 30 at-bats over the next few days as he prepares to return to the lineup. Furcal, 33, has been on the disabled list since April 12.
Blake, meanwhile, again fielded grounders and threw to first base in pregame practice as he recovers from surgery for an infection in his left elbow.
The elbow “feels good and it’s progressing nicely,” Blake said.
Pitcher Jon Garland, whose start Thursday ended after two innings when rain in Pittsburgh forced the postponement of the Dodgers’ game against the Pirates, will make his next start Monday at home against the Milwaukee Brewers, Mattingly said.
The move mainly will give fellow starter Hiroki Kuroda, 36, an additional day off, Mattingly said. Kuroda’s next start will be Tuesday.
“We felt like it was better for Hiro to get that extra day [of rest],” Mattingly said.
Minor league pitcher Zach Lee, the Dodgers’ first-round pick in last June’s draft, was sent to the team’s minor league complex near Phoenix for an MRI test on the right-hander’s pitching elbow.
Lee complained of tightness in the elbow after his last start May 5, when he went a season-long six innings, giving up one run on five hits. But he lacked his usual sharpness, striking out just one, a career low.
DeJon Watson, the Dodgers’ assistant general manager for player development, characterized the test as a standard procedure for young pitchers. He said the test showed no damage and that Lee, 19, would return to Great Lakes of the single-A Midwest League, though Watson said he did not expect Lee to pitch for 10 to 15 days.
“There’s nothing wrong,” Watson said. “We just want to make sure he’s 100%.”
Lee is 3-0 for the season with a 1.17 earned-run average in six starts. He has 28 strikeouts in 30 2/3 innings.
Lee was in camp as a freshman quarterback at Louisiana State last August when the Dodgers lured him back to baseball with $5.25-million bonus, more than double the largest bonus the team had paid a draft pick.
The second game of the Dodgers’ series with the Arizona Diamondbacks on Saturday has an unusual start time, 4:10 p.m., with Chad Billingsley facing Josh Collmenter.
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