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Jonny DeLuca will face lefties, Trayce Thompson to miss at least a month with oblique strain

Jonny DeLuca bats for the Triple-A Oklahoma City Dodgers in 2023.
Jonny DeLuca bats for the Triple-A Oklahoma City Dodgers in 2023.
Oklahoma City Dodgers - Ron Lane

LOS ANGELES — The Dodgers made official the promotion of Jonny DeLuca on Sunday, the outfielder recalled from Triple-A Oklahoma City with Trayce Thompson placed on the injured list with a left oblique strain.

It marks a whirlwind rise for DeLuca, who was with Double-A Tulsa just three weeks ago.

“It still doesn’t feel too real, because it happened so quick,” DeLuca said Sunday morning. “Last night I got like three hours of sleep then got on a plane, so I’m just trying to take in the moment and just enjoy it.”

DeLuca hit .292/.378/.574 with 14 home runs, 12 stolen bases, and a 140 wRC+ between Double-A and Triple-A this season, including .315/.375/.548 with eight extra-base hits in 17 games since getting promoted to Oklahoma City.

Now he’s at the stadium where he grew up attending games as a kid and watching Clayton Kershaw, who is 10 years older than DeLuca. Kershaw was the first player to greet DeLuca Sunday when he arrived in the clubhouse, their lockers only a few stalls apart.

DeLuca played high school baseball in Agoura Hills, about 34 miles away from Dodger Stadium. He estimated close to 20 family members and friends would be at the game on Sunday to see his potential debut.

DeLuca is replacing Thompson, who suffered the injury on a check swing during his seventh-inning pinch-hit walk in Saturday’s game. He remained in the game for the rest of the inning, but did not play in the outfield in the top of the eighth as originally planned.

After a resurgence in three-plus months with the Dodgers in 2022, it’s been a rough season for Thompson this year, hitting just .151/.310/.366, striking out 42.5 percent of the time, the highest strikeout rate among 347 major league hitters with at least 80 plate appearances. Thompson had an 0-for-39 skid before breaking that with a three-hit game on May 28 at Tampa Bay. He reached base in six times in eight plate appearances since the hitless streak.

“With the oblique, unfortunately it seems like 30 days is the floor, and we’ll reassess after that,” Dave Roberts said.

That means a potentially long runway for DeLuca, who for now will play mostly against left-handed pitchers. He’s hitting .362/.423/.681 against southpaws this year, and .310/.388/.635 against them since the start of 2021.

Roberts said DeLuca will start on Wednesday against Reds rookie southpaw Brandon Williamson in Cincinnati, but hasn’t yet decided whether DeLuca will start in center or left.

The Dodgers are slated to face two other lefty piitchers next weekend in Philadelphia, with Matt Strahm and Ranger Suárez likely to start for the Phillies in the first two games of the series.