LOS ANGELES -- The Dodgers called up infielder/outfielder Alex Castellanos from Triple-A Albuquerque on Thursday to replace outfielder Matt Kemp, who was placed on the 15-day disabled list with a strained left hamstring. Castellanos made his big league debut as a defensive replacement in left field the eighth inning of Thursday night's 6-2 loss to the Brewers. He was welcomed to the big leagues with a 91-mph Kameron Loe fastball to the elbow in his first plate appearance. He successfully stole second base two pitches later, but had to return when Scott Van Slyke was called for batter interference on catcher Martin Maldonado's throw.
"It felt good being in a big league game," he said. "It felt like any other baseball game. Just a bigger stage."Kemp injured the leg scoring from first on Andre Ethier's double Wednesday night. He is expected to be sidelined at least four weeks. Coincidentally, Castellanos, who is ranked No. 13 on MLB.com's Top 20 Dodgers prospects list, returned on Saturday to the Albuquerque lineup after missing a month with a strained left hamstring. He was acquired last July from the St. Louis Cardinals for shortstop Rafael Furcal. Castellanos got the call from his Triple-A manager Thursday morning. His parents were at his Minor League game in New Orleans and on hand when he found out he would be heading to Los Angeles. "They wanted to come over here but they had the 14-hour drive back to Miami," he said. Manager Don Mattingly said the team plans to use Castellanos as an outfielder, which he played while with the Cardinals. He was moved by the Dodgers to second base this year, but Mattingly said they'll shift him back with three or four combination infielders already on the team. Offensively, he was a Pacific Coast League star before his injury, batting .379 with a 1.235 OPS, five homers and 19 extra-base hits in 22 games. Mattingly said Castellanos will more than likely be in the lineup Friday when the Dodgers take on the Rockies. "If he's swinging the bat, he's going to keep getting to play," Mattingly said. "I can't promise that he's going to come and get a long look. We're basically just trying to put the best lineup out and win a game."