De Jesus called up as Byrd placed on DL

De Jesus called up as Byrd placed on DL

PHILADELPHIA -- The Reds selected the contract of infielder Ivan De Jesus Jr. from Triple-A Louisville on Wednesday, with outfielder Marlon Byrd being placed on the disabled list with a fractured right wrist.

To clear space on the 40-man roster, outfielder Donald Lutz was released.

De Jesus, who will wear No. 3 for Cincinnati, was batting .303/.378/.384 in 50 games with no home runs and 16 RBIs for Louisville. He has played all four infield positions, including 31 games at third base.

"It's been really good," De Jesus said. "This last month was up and down just like baseball. I've been doing really well."

De Jesus, 28, signed a Minor League deal with the Reds in November after he spent last season in Triple-A with the Orioles and Red Sox. The son of former Major Leaguer Ivan De Jesus, he has a .205 average in 48 games played in the Majors in parts of three seasons with the Dodgers and Red Sox.

A strong showing in camp, where he batted .400 in 22 games, made De Jesus one of the final cuts. His strong start at Louisville kept him on the big league radar.

"He's a guy that was rewarded for coming in as a Minor League free agent, having a great spring and taking that down to Triple-A and really going out there and playing hard and playing effectively," Reds manager Bryan Price said. "I think he was the best choice."

De Jesus felt it was quite important that he kept his head up after Spring Training.

"I showed them I'm not frustrated because I got sent down and didn't make the team," De Jesus said.

For Byrd, his injury could prove to be a costly one depending on how long he is out. The 37-year-old is earning $8 million this season, but has an $8 million option for 2016 that automatically vests if he has 550 plate appearances this season. If Byrd doesn't reach that benchmark, it converts to a club option.

Byrd spent Wednesday in Cincinnati being examined by Reds medical director Dr. Tim Kremchek. There was a chance that the injury was a pre-existing fracture rather than a new break, which could mean less time out.

In 47 games and 185 plate appearances, Byrd is batting .212/.286/.442 with 10 home runs and 25 RBIs. He was acquired from the Phillies on Dec. 31 for pitching prospect Ben Lively. With Byrd out, Price plans a left field rotation with Kristopher Negron, Skip Schumaker and Brennan Boesch. Negron started vs. the Phillies on Wednesday.

"We don't know if this will be a several week issue or shorter," Price said. "Whatever amount of time it is, we'll get a chance to get those guys out there and get them more at-bats and a little bit more involved in what we're doing."

Lutz, who was the first German-developed player to reach the Major Leagues spent parts of the 2013-14 seasons with the Reds and batted .211 with one homer in 62 games. He played 13 games for Louisville this season before he had season-ending Tommy John surgery on his right elbow on May 1.

Mark Sheldon is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Mark My Word, follow him on Twitter @m_sheldon and Facebook and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.