LOS ANGELES (AP) -Blake DeWitt capped his unlikely journey to the big leagues Monday by starting at third base for the Los Angeles Dodgers in their season opener against the San Francisco Giants.
``I'm pretty excited to get out there and play,'' the 22-year-old DeWitt said 90 minutes before game time. ``This has been a pretty wild spring, starting in the minor league camp and ending up here.''
When asked if he was nervous, DeWitt replied: ``Not yet. I'm sure I'll feel a few pregame jitters. I feel pretty good.''
The Dodgers made DeWitt's debut official Monday morning by purchasing his contract from Double-A Jacksonville and placing infielder Tony Abreu on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to March 26. They also purchased the contract of infielder Angel Chavez from Triple-A Las Vegas, and made room on their 40-man roster by designating right-hander Eric Hull for assignment.
Abreu joined third basemen Nomar Garciaparra and Andy LaRoche and right-hander Jason Schmidt on the 15-day DL. They're on the DL retroactive to March 20.
DeWitt hit .220 in 21 exhibition games with three homers, 10 RBIs and only eight strikeouts in 59 at-bats. He played in 89 games for Class A Inland Empire last year, hitting .298 with eight homers and 46 RBIs, and another 45 with Jacksonville, hitting .381 with six homers and 20 RBIs.
``We're not asking him to do anything other than play his position,'' Joe Torre said before making his managerial debut with the Dodgers. ``We're not asking him to carry us. He's a quiet kid, not trying to convince any one of anything. He's very calm. He's got me tricked if he's not.''
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