DeJesus Excited To Join Pirates
PITTSBURGH — Ivan DeJesus Jr. was considered the Dodgers' shortstop of the future before he sustained a serious injury.
That was four years ago, and his star has lost its luster since, but he is still enough of a prospect that the Pirates will give him a chance to compete for a utility infield job with Chase d'Arnaud and Jordy Mercer this spring.
"All you ever want is an opportunity," DeJesus said.
The Pirates acquired DeJesus, 25, from the Red Sox in the six-player trade that sent closer Joel Hanrahan to Boston. It marked the second time in four months that DeJesus had been traded, as the Dodgers dealt him to the Red Sox in the August blockbuster that saw Boston shed $260 million of contracts.
"I'm excited about being with the Pirates," DeJesus said. "Being from Puerto Rico, it is very special to me."
Puerto Rico was the homeland of outfielder Roberto Clemente, who played for the Pirates from 1955-72. DeJesus boosted his outlook by winning the batting title in the Puerto Rican League this winter, as he hit .364/.418/.505 in 143 at-bats for Manati. That came after the Red Sox outrighted him off the roster at the end of last season.
It once seemed that DeJesus would be a longtime Dodger, but everything changed when he broke his leg during spring training in 2009 while sliding into home plate. He lost a step and has gone from full-time shortstop to utility infielder as he has learned to play second base and third base.
"I've done a lot of moving around the last few years and that's been fine," DeJesus said. "I don't really have a favorite position. I like all three. I'm willing to do whatever the team needs me to do and whatever it takes to stay in the big leagues."
• Triple-A Indianapolis' Dean Treanor and short-season Jamestown's Dave Turgeon are the only minor league managers returning in their same roles in 2013. Carlos Garcia was promoted to Double-A Altoona from high Class A Bradenton. Special assistant Frank Kremblas takes over at Bradenton, while former major league outfielder Michael Ryan was hired to manage low Class A West Virginia.
• Righthander Jameson Taillon will pitch for Canada in the World Baseball Classic. Taillon grew up in the Houston area and was born in Winter Haven, Fla., but his parents are both Canadian.