The Dodgers yesterday signed outfielder Trent Oeltjen to a minor league deal, and assigned him to Triple A Albuquerque. Oeltjen exercised an opt-out clause in his minor league deal with Milwaukee last week. Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee-Journal Sentinel reported that defense played a part in Oeltjen not getting called up to the Brewers:
Oeltjen had been on an offensive tear with the Sounds, raising his batting average to .301 with 24 doubles, two triples, eight homers, 38 RBI and a .851 OPS. But his defense wasn’t considered major-league ready, so the Brewers opted not to call him up and move out one of their players.
“Our reports were that he was coming on dramatically with the bat,” said assistant general manager Gord Ash. “We liked him, obviously. That’s why we signed him. But as a defensive outfielder, he wasn’t what we were looking for.”
Oeltjen, the 27-year old native of Australia, burst onto the scene last season with the Diamondbacks, hitting three home runs in his first four major league games, in August. However, he collected just nine hits in 50 at-bats following that opening surge.
The Dodgers released Timo Perez, the 35-year old outfielder who was on a minor league deal, to make room for Oeltjen on the Isotopes roster.