Michael Young was acquired by the Dodgers from the Philadelphia Phillies in a August 31 waiver deadline deal in exchange for minor league relief pitcher Rob Rasmussen. Young waived his no-trade clause to come to a contender and treated the move as sort of a homecoming as he grew up in nearby Covina. He was acquired to provide a bat off the bench and a replacement to spell a starter.
Regular Season Grade: C+
In 21 games with the team, Young hit a solid .314 while driving in four and hitting two doubles. He started 10 games for the Dodgers and played every infield position. As a pinch-hitter, Young was 3-6 during the regular season.
Young was a contributor by giving players rest in the final month of the season and was valuable because he could play multiple positions. The Dodgers may have expected a little more power coming from his bat, but the 37-year-old isn’t the same player he was when he was one of the most feared hitters in the game.
Another reason the Dodgers wanted a player like Young was to provide a veteran presence in the locker room, one that had been in the postseason before and could teach the younger guys about different pressures. Although it is unknown, it can be assumed that Young helped in this process and spread a little knowledge in the clubhouse.
Playoff Grade: F
It may be unfair to Young that he was involved in one of the most scrutinized moves of the postseason by Dodgers manager Don Mattingly, but Young was the replacement for Adrian Gonzalez when he was pinch-run for late in Game 1 of the NLCS. Young came in to play first base and would have two crucial at-bats in the game. Hanley Ramirez was intentionally walked twice in extra innings to bring up Young and both times Young hit into a double play.
Overall, in the playoffs, Young went 1-10 with a single. The 37-year-old couldn’t help the Dodgers put runs on the board and provide that key bat off the bench.
Overall Grade: D
Young’s contributions in the last month of the season were all but erased in the playoffs, when he was expected to help the team. Many will remember the four outs recorded on his two at-bats in Game 1 of the NLCS.
Young is a free agent and it is unknown if he plans to return to baseball next season, but if he does it won’t be with the Dodgers.
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