While Monday was a scheduled off day for Spring Training games at Camelback Ranch in Glendale, there was plenty of action on the back fields as the Dodgers faced the Brewers in a 7-inning “B” game, a contest that proved extremely costly for the Dodgers and perhaps the Isotopes. In the bottom of the fourth inning, sensational prospect Ivan De Jesus Jr. broke his lower left tibia in a collision at home plate, an injury that necessitated the surgical insertion of a metal rod into his leg on Tuesday and one that will probably spell the end of the infielder’s season. Doctors in Arizona say De Jesus will be in a boot and on crutches for six weeks before embarking on a rehab that is scheduled to take four months.
Heading into this season, De Jesus was the Dodgers’ sixth highest prospect according to Baseball America and was coming off a breakout season in 2008 that saw him earn the organization’s Minor League Player of the Year award.
With Rafael Furcal and Orlando Hudson holding down the middle infield in Los Angeles, the 21 year-old most likely would have started the season in Albuquerque, where his father, Ivan De Jesus Sr., played from 1974-1976.
Now with De Jesus out, Blake DeWitt has been getting increasing playing time at short, which is intriguing for Isotopes fans in that the Dodgers may elect to start DeWitt in Albuquerque to get him some added reps at the position. The bottom line, is the next month should prove fascinating as the ‘Topes roster begins to take shape.
Things are gearing up at Isotopes Park as well, with the team’s Open House/Individual Game Ticket On-Sale/Anthem Auditions/Select-A-Seat right around the corner. On Saturday, March 14, individual game tickets will go on sale at 10:00 AM both on-line and at Isotopes Park. At the same time, the Isotopes will open Isotopes Park for tours, conduct their annual Select-A-Seat and hold National Anthem auditions. Look for more information on that big day at The Lab here and at www.albuquerquebaseball.com in the next few days.