- Tony Jackson, ESPNLosAngeles.com
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DENVER -- The Los Angeles Dodgers optioned rookie infielder Ivan DeJesus Jr. to Triple-A Albuquerque following Tuesday night's 3-0 loss to the Colorado Rockies, a move that was widely anticipated with veteran third baseman Casey Blake expected to be activated from the 15-day disabled list when he becomes eligible on Wednesday.
DeJesus, who was making his major league debut, was hitless in seven at-bats, with five strikeouts and one walk. But he remains one of the organization's top prospects, and the fact he appeared in only two of the Dodgers' first five games made him the obvious candidate to go to make room for Blake.
DeJesus declined to comment on the move. Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said he believes DeJesus has reached a stage in his development where he is ready for the majors, but that there simply isn't enough playing time available for him to be there now.
"Again, you know he can handle a bat," Mattingly said. "Defensively, I think he just needs to keep working and keep putting polish on his game at second base. The way we're set up, he isn't going to get enough at-bats to be fair to him or to his development. For him to get two at-bats a week doesn't do him any good and doesn't do us any good. He needs to play every day. I'm sure he is disappointed, and I know he wants to be in the big leagues, but his best interests are still to be playing every day."
DeJesus, 23, was the Dodgers' second-round draft pick in 2005 and the highest pick they were able to sign out of that draft.
Tony Jackson covers the Dodgers for ESPNLosAngeles.com. Follow him on Twitter.