LOS ANGELES -- One day after Angel Berroa debuted at shortstop for the Dodgers, the club optioned rookie shortstop Chin-lung Hu to Triple-A Las Vegas. A corresponding roster move will be made before Tuesday night's series opener in San Diego, but it likely will be the promotion of utilityman Andy LaRoche, who will serve as a backup to Blake DeWitt at third base, James Loney at first base and even Jeff Kent at second base. Hu made the Opening Day roster as an extra middle infielder because of injuries to LaRoche, Nomar Garciaparra and Tony Abreu. He suddenly became the everyday shortstop with the back injury to Rafael Furcal and played well defensively, but was overmatched at the plate. He was batting .159 with a .224 on-base percentage and .206 slugging percentage.
LaRoche, considered the third baseman of the future until DeWitt's emergence, missed the first month of the season recovering from surgery to repair a torn thumb ligament. He is batting .277 with five home runs for Las Vegas. Berroa was obtained Friday in a trade with Kansas City. The 2003 American League Rookie of the Year is expected to start at shortstop until Furcal's return, then become the primary middle-infield backup.
Ken Gurnick is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.