OAKLAND -- The Dodgers made room for new acquisition Chase Utley on Wednesday by designating infielder Alberto Callaspo for assignment. That clears a spot on both the active and 40-man rosters for Utley, who will join the Dodgers on Friday in Houston.
Callaspo was acquired from the Braves on May 27 in the Juan Uribe trade, a deal made in part because of Uribe's desire for more playing time, and with Justin Turner's ascension at third base and Hector Olivera looming at the time, Uribe was far down the depth chart.
But Callaspo ended up starting 26 of 75 games at third base, and played in 60 total games, hitting .260/.336/.301 with five doubles in 138 plate appearances. The switch-hitter hit .267/.345/.307 in 114 plate appearances as a left-handed batter, and .227/.292/.273 in 24 plate appearances from the right side.
Callaspo struck out in his final plate appearance as a Dodger on Wednesday, pinch-hitting for Scott Van Slyke in the eighth inning.
"Infielder for infielder, that was sort of the thought process," general manager Farhan Zaidi said via conference call on Wednesday night. "Callaspo played entirely third base, and while Chase is a second baseman, having someone with the positional versatility of Kiké Hernandez makes this move possible."
Zaidi said it was likely that Hernandez and Alex Guerrero would be the primary backups at third base to Turner, and mentioned Utley as a possibility to play some third base once Howie Kendrick returns from his hamstring injury, expected somewhere near the first week of September.
"Our depth chart could look very different in three weeks," Zaidi said.
Utley has never played third base in the majors, though Zaidi said Utley worked out at the position for the Phillies.
With Kendrick out, Utley is the primary second baseman, even if that means only two weeks or so at the position.
"Two weeks is a long time in a pennant race," Zaidi said.