Dodgers call up Castro to bolster infield

Dodgers call up Castro to bolster infield

LOS ANGELES -- In an effort to bolster their depleted infield corps, the Dodgers purchased the contract of Juan Castro from Triple-A Albuquerque and optioned Ivan DeJesus to the Isotopes prior to Friday's game against the Arizona Diamondbacks.

Castro, now on his third stint with the Dodgers, gives Los Angeles a veteran utility guy who can provide relief at multiple positions as the club continues to patch together an infield with regulars Rafael Furcal and Casey Blake on the disabled list.

"Juan gives us the guy that can play short, can play third, can play second," manager Don Mattingly said.

The move also allows DeJesus to see regular action in the Minors and continue his development. DeJesus has played in 16 games this year and has six hits in 31 at-bats.

"Ivan needs to play," Mattingly said. "With him being here and the way we're set up, it's not going to do him any good to be sitting on the bench."

Castro signed a Minor League deal with the Dodgers during the offseason. He didn't make the Opening Day roster, and when the club left Arizona for a few tune-up games in Anaheim, Castro was left at home contemplating his future.

"I didn't know what I wanted to do," said Castro, who hit .458 in eight games with the Isotopes. "Those four or five days, I was thinking if I wanted to continue to play the game. The Dodgers called me back and they gave me a chance to go to Triple-A and play a bit over there, and so I told them that I would do that."

Castro said he decided to continue to play because he still had passion for the game and felt like he could contribute at the big league level. Castro appeared in 57 games with the Dodgers in 2009, hitting .277 with four doubles and a home run.

Castro's return to the Dodgers could have come sooner if it wasn't for a left oblique strain on April 13 that forced him to the DL. The injury came two days after Furcal broke his left thumb in San Francisco, and Mattingly said Castro's name was mentioned as a possible replacement.

"That's the way our season's been so far," Mattingly said. "We started talking about him, and it seemed like within 12 hours we heard that he [injured] the rib cage."

Castro said he was treated with a PRP (platelet-rich plasma) shot about a week after the injury, and he returned to Albuquerque last Sunday and got the call from the Dodgers on Thursday night after a game in Las Vegas.

"It's a good feeling when somebody wants you," Castro said. "I'm just happy to be back here."