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Michael Young will have reduced role with Dodgers

Los Angeles DodgersBaseballMichael YoungDon MattinglyPhiladelphia PhilliesTexas Rangers

When Michael Young joins the Dodgers on Monday, he will pursue his first World Series championship ring from a new vantage point.

Young, 36, is a 14-year veteran and seven-time All-Star. For the first time in his career, he will not be a regular.

"He really hasn't been a regular the last few years," said Dodgers Manager Don Mattingly. "He's been a guy playing part time and all over."

The latter is true; the former is not. Young has transitioned from an everyday shortstop into a third baseman into a player who has started at all four infield positions the last three seasons. In 2011 and 2012, before the Texas Rangers traded him to the Philadelphia Phillies, he started most often at designated hitter.

In 2011, however, he led the Rangers with 631 at-bats. In 2012, he had 611 at-bats. This season, he ranked second on the Phillies with 468 at-bats and played in all but 10 of their 136 games. Adrian Gonzalez is the only Dodgers player with more at-bats this season.

Young waived his no-trade clause to join his hometown team, and he comes with what Mattingly called a "sterling reputation" in the clubhouse. As a result, Mattingly anticipates no issues with Young's newly reduced role.

"We're not getting a young kid in the prime of his career," Mattingly said, "and I say that with all due respect. ... We're going to treat him with respect, and I'm going to make sure I'm honest with him about everything."

Vero Beach encore?

Dodgertown was reborn last week, when the new Dodgers owners agreed that their old Florida spring training home could be called "Historic Dodgertown." Since the Dodgers moved out in 2008, the complex had been known as "Vero Beach Sports Village," because former owner Frank McCourt refused to allow the use of the Dodgertown name.

Dodgers President Stan Kasten said the new owners were happy to help, but Kasten called it "unlikely" that the team would return to Vero Beach for an occasional exhibition game.

He declined to elaborate, but such a scenario probably would require the Dodgers to open the regular season on the East Coast, so the team could stop in Florida on the way to its season opener. The Dodgers have opened the regular season on the East Coast twice since 1999 — in Montreal in 2000 and in Pittsburgh in 2010.

Kemp on hold

Matt Kemp, who went hitless in the first three games of his minor league rehabilitation assignment, will not return to the Dodgers on Monday.

"He doesn't feel good yet at the plate," Mattingly said Sunday. "He's not pushing us to say, 'I want to be there tomorrow.'"

Kemp was 0 for 11 at Class-A Rancho Cucamonga through Saturday, including five strikeouts. He had hit one ball out of the infield.

Short hops

The Dodgers continue to monitor infielder and Cuban defector Alexander Guerrero, who has yet to be cleared by the U.S. Treasury Department to sign with a major league club. The Dodgers see him as a middle infielder, but a club official would not say whether the team would consider Guerrero ready to succeed Mark Ellis at second base next season. The Atlanta Braves and Minnesota Twins also are reportedly interested. … The Dodgers' first wave of September callups — pitchers Stephen Fife and Peter Moylan, shortstop Dee Gordon, outfielder Scott Van Slyke, and catcher Drew Butera — joined the team Sunday. Pitcher Chris Withrow is expected to be called up Tuesday, when he is eligible.

bill.shaikin@latimes.com

Twitter: @BillShaikin

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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Los Angeles DodgersBaseballMichael YoungDon MattinglyPhiladelphia PhilliesTexas Rangers
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