LOS ANGELES — Blink and you might miss yet another change to the Dodgers’ roster.
Just two hours before the waiver trade deadline, the Dodgers made another roster addition, one of several in recent weeks, acquiring veteran utility man Michael Young from the Phillies.
Young is the second acquisition in the last three days, as right-hander Edinson Volquez was signed on Friday. The Dodgers also recalled a slew of September call-ups on Sunday.
It’s difficult to say what all of the changes amount to, especially with Matt Kemp slated to come off the disabled list soon, but manager Don Mattingly doesn’t see it as a bad thing.
“I was kind of surprised when I first started coaching how much a team changes from spring training to the beginning of the season,” Mattingly said. “Rick (Honeycutt) and I talked about it, you should always be trying to get better. I really just look at this as we’re trying to get better.”
Young, a local out of Covina who played at Bishop Amat High School before going on to UC Santa Barbara, is expected to spell Adrian Gonzalez at first and Juan Uribe at third. His addition to an already solid roster should bolster the team’s depth and playoff experience.
Mattingly says he doesn’t plan on using Young as a
permanent fixture, as Uribe’s defense is still above average and
Gonzalez’s bat isn’t something he wants to go without.
“I think that we just keep adding depth,” Mattingly said. “We’re not trying to bring Michael in here to knock Adrian off of first base. Michael is here to add to our club, give us some added depth and just be a guy that can do a lot of things.”
The playoff experience brought by Young could be invaluable. The 2005 batting title winner is a seven-time All-Star who made World Series runs with the Texas Rangers in 2010 and 2011.
At 36, Young might be on the downswing of his career, but he comes cheap at $1 million with no long-term commitment needed.
“You’re talking about a guy like Michael Young that comes with a sterling reputation. Good person, good guy, good teammate, that type of thing,” Mattingly said. “We’re not getting a young kitten right in his prime. And when I say that, I mean no disrespect but he’s played for a long time. Look at his resume. He’s got a batting title, he’s got two World Series’, he’s done a lot of things.”
Still, the question is asked how all of the pieces will fit together. Although there is an idea, it’s not completely clear how Edinson Volquez and Carlos Marmol will be utilized.
Mattingly on Sunday was asked if he felt the club was adding players simply because they were available. The skipper said he and general manager Ned Colletti remain on the same page with the additions.
The next challenge will be trimming the roster down to the 25-man limit for the playoffs. But that next step is something Mattingly isn’t ready to assess yet.
“I’m not willing to go there knowing that we’re ready to play today, we want to win a game today,” Mattingly said. “I just don’t really like letting my guard down when we’re playing still. We’ll just keep grinding it out.”