Prospect De Jesus breaks left leg
Dodgers up-and-coming infielder could miss entire season
PHOENIX -- The Dodgers may have lost Ivan De Jesus Jr., a top infield prospect and their 2008 organizational Minor League Player of the Year, for the season after he broke his left leg sliding into home plate during a "B" game against the Brewers on Monday at the Camelback Ranch complex.De Jesus was taken off the field on the back of a golf cart and rushed for X-rays, which revealed that he had broken his lower tibia. He was checked into nearby Banner-Estrella Medical Center, where he will remain overnight. A determination whether he will need surgery is expected to be made on Tuesday.
"It's [probably] the whole season," manager Joe Torre said about the 21-year-old native of Puerto Rico. "Hopefully that's all. His age will obviously be on his side. It's too bad. He's been working hard, but they've all been working hard."The play happened in the Dodgers' half of the fourth inning as De Jesus, the sixth highest ranked prospect in the organization according to Baseball America, charged in from second on a single and tried to score. The plate was blocked by the Brewers' Carlos Corporan, and De Jesus slid in a little high, smashing into the catcher's shin pads. De Jesus then lay prone to the right side of the plate until he was removed from the field. The ball kicked free to the backstop, but De Jesus wasn't able to touch the plate and was called out. "Juan Pierre was telling him to slide, yelling, 'Get down, get down, get down, get down,'" Torre said. "Somebody happened to get in front of me, and I missed the contact. I heard the thud, and I saw him lying over there." Trainer Stan Conte said through a Dodgers spokesman that De Jesus' long-term status wouldn't be determined until Tuesday, when a decision is made about surgery. He was taken to the hospital with a full brace securing his left leg. Asked whether he thought the injury would indeed cost De Jesus the season, Torre said: "If not all, probably most of it. That's my opinion just off the fact that there's a chance of surgery." De Jesus batted .324 last year for Double-A Jacksonville, where he also had a .419 on-base percentage. He led all full-season Dodgers Minor Leaguers last season with 91 runs scored and 76 walks. His father, Ivan De Jesus Sr., was a Major League second baseman from 1974-88 and played his first 88 games over the course of three seasons with the Dodgers.
Barry M. Bloom is a national reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.