Dodgers Now

The Times' Dodgers reporters give you all the news on the boys in blue

« Previous Post | Dodgers Now Home | Next Post »

Now what? Dodgers call up Ivan De Jesus Jr., place Rafael Furcal on DL

April 12, 2011 |  3:40 pm

Lh94bpnc They’re making this up on the fly, you can understand that. Despite his history, the Dodgers hardly planned on losing Rafael Furcal for some six weeks with a broken thumb.

Yet given his history, it’s not like they couldn’t have considered their options should he go down.

It’s one thing, however, to be out five days with an ankle issue, and something quite different to lose your starting shortstop for over a month. That’s assuming, of course, that Furcal's talking about retiring Monday night was simply an emotional reaction.

On Tuesday, when the Dodgers placed Furcal on the disabled list, they called Ivan De Jesus Jr. back up from triple-A Albuquerque. John Wayne on horseback, this is not.

But what exactly do you do with him?

Best answer: Start him every day for a couple of weeks.

See what happens. Sure, he was hardly impressive in starting the season with the Dodgers (0 for 7 with five strikeouts), but he was making his major league debut and no doubt nervous.

You can’t bring him up and sit him. He’s the one prospect whose bat, Manager Don Mattingly said during the Fall League, looked most ready to make the jump to the majors. Give him some games and find out. He turns 24 on May 1; how long do these guys have to be prospects?

Trouble is, De Jesus is no longer considered shortstop material and would have to play second. That would push Juan Uribe to shortstop, which isn’t ideal, but it seemed to work well enough for the Giants last season.

That would also free Jamey Carroll to resume his super utility role. Though he filled in at shortstop better than anyone had a right to expect when Furcal went on the DL last season, the Dodgers all seem to agree he’s best suited for spot starts. And Carroll is 37.

Plus, if Mattingly wants to stick to his plans of resting third baseman Casey Blake regularly -- and the way his season has started, that’s looking like a good plan -- he needs to be able to move Carroll around.

None of this is a perfect situation, but given their roster, the best for the moment. And in baseball, you often live in the moment.

-- Steve Dilbeck

Photo: Ivan DeJesus Jr. at a spring training game against the San Francisco Giants at Scottsdale Stadium Feb. 26, 2011. Credit: Kyle Terada / US Presswire