When the Dodgers announced their promotions from Triple A on Tuesday, one day after the season ended for the Albuquerque Isotopes, the three players called up -- Jerry Sands, Tim Federowicz, and John Ely -- were not a surprise. What was a bit perplexing was that Ivan DeJesus was not recalled as well.
DeJesus is already on the 40-man roster, which makes calling him up to the big leagues for the final three weeks very easy, at least from a procedural standpoint. No extra moves are required, and DeJesus wouldn't be taking the roster spot of another player. DeJesus wasn't particularly impressive in his three previous stints with the big club this season, with six singles in 32 at-bats, but the 24-year old DeJesus has as much claim to a roster spot as 29-year old Eugenio Velez (0-for-31) or 26-year old Russ Mitchell (5-for-32 with a double and a home run).
In 2010, DeJesus was also on the 40-man roster and get skipped over for a September cup of coffee, for what was a reported attitude problem. "Everybody makes mistakes," DeJesus told Dylan Hernandez of the LA Times in March. "I learned from the mistakes I made. Now, I'm a new player."
DeJesus the old player was definitely a prospect. He was rated as the sixth best prospect in the Dodgers' farm system heading into 2009 by Baseball America, which praised his advanced approach and his ability to use the whole field. But the calling card for DeJesus was his plate discipline.
- As a 19-year old in low Class A, he walked in 11.2% of his plate appearances.
- As a 20-year old in advanced Class A, he walked in 11.4% of his plate appearances
- As a 21-year old in Double A, he walked in 13.6% of his plate appearances
Everything changed on March 2, 2009, when DeJesus broke his left leg on an awkward slide into home plate in a "B" game in spring training at Camelback Ranch. He missed nearly all of 2009, but came back in 2010. The problem was the plate discipline for DeJesus was gone. Last season at Triple A, he walked in just 5.5% of his plate appearances.
This season, it was more of the same for DeJesus. In addition to his two walks in 35 at-bats with the Dodgers, DeJesus had just 16 walks in 245 plate appearances over 57 games in Triple A through July 21, just 6.5% of his plate appearances. However, as the season wore on DeJesus showed improvement with 29 walks in his final 43 games, walking in 14.6% of his plate appearances during that span, showing glimpses of his prior days as a viable prospect. DeJesus even hit six of his eight home runs this season in a 16-game span in mid-August.
Whether it was for attitude, or performance, or both, DeJesus did not get the call. Again. If the Dodgers thought anything of DeJesus, he would be up with the big league team. It appears his days in the Dodger organization are numbered, which is a shame.