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Michael Young Preparing for Return; Los Angeles Dodgers are First Choice

January 28th, 2014 at 5:00 AM
By Jimmy Reynolds

Veteran Michael Young, acquired by the Los Angeles Dodgers to aid in their late-season playoff run, has said that while he is still weighing his retirement, he has continued to prepare as if he were planning on a return.

'Safe, but Called Out' photo (c) 2013, Not That Bob James - license:

Young is not the player he once was, but the Dodgers do not expect him to be in the role they likely envision for him. The team is in need of capable backups at multiple infield positions, and the position with the most potential question marks is what Young referred to as his "natural position" while speaking with Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times.

"Second base is my natural position. That’s probably the biggest curiosity of my career: What would have happened if I had stayed at second base my whole career? I played short and third, which I love, but second base is my most natural position."

Young is not exactly known for his defense. He is, however, a known quantity, something that Ned Colletti has long valued given his history of signing veterans considered by many to be past their prime. In this instance, it is fair for Colletti to have some distrust in his younger internal options.

What Young can provide is a solid — if no longer powerful — bat off of the bench, something the team currently lacks. In 21 games with the Dodgers last season, Young slashed .314/.321/.392.

That Young is something of a desirable utility option at this point in the offseason makes it difficult to understand the rationale behind letting Nick Punto and Skip Schumaker leave on reasonable free-agent contracts with other clubs. The utility role seems to be the lone remaining hole in the Dodger roster with less than 30 days remaining until the first Spring Training game.

Tags: Baseball, Los Angeles, Los Angeles Dodgers, Michael Young, MLB, Ned Colletti, Nick Punto, Skip Schumaker

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