The Dodgers recalled Erisbel Arruebarrena from the Rookie-level Arizona League Dodgers, where he had been rehabbing. Evidently, the rookie shortstop’s sore shoulder was the only reason he wasn’t recalled sooner. Carlos Triunfel, who got the call-up Saturday when Juan Uribe was placed on the 15-day disabled list, was optioned to Triple-A Albuquerque.
Arruebarrena has played some second base and third base this season for Triple-A Albuquerque. His job with the Dodgers will be at shortstop, where he saw action in eight games in May and June, making no errors and batting .313 (5 for 16).
“He worked on some small things with Mac (hitting coach Mark McGwire) the very first time he came,” Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said. “Just talking to Mac, once he came back, basically the things they had worked on, he had. So he went down and was able to continue working on them and bring them back with him. That’s kind of rare. A lot of times a guy will come here, do some things, come back, and when he comes back they’ve lost the concept of it. Erisbel seems like he’s held onto it.”
Much has been written about Arruebarrena’s slick hands, and deservedly so. They were major-league ready before his bat, the primary reason the Dodgers signed him to a five-year, $25 million contract out of Cuba last fall.
Not as much has been written about Arruebarrena’s bat. Mattingly said that hitting wasn’t much of a focus for the 24-year-old in Cuba, and he came to the U.S. as somewhat of a blank slate.
“When he came he wasn’t necessarily a great hitter but we see some potential there,” Mattingly said. “He’s not like a small guy. He’s a guy who’s got a little pump in his bat. He’s got a chance to be like a (Andrelton) Simmons, that Atlanta has. He’s got potential to hit.”
After seeing his name in the starting lineup for the fifth time this season, Arruebarrena took ground balls at shortstop with Hanley Ramirez during batting practice. Miguel Rojas, the primary shortstop since Ramirez went on the disabled list August 10, took grounders at third base and shortstop.