How Michael Young Will Impact the Dodgers' World Series Chase

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How Michael Young Will Impact the Dodgers' World Series Chase

In a move to add depth before the playoffs, the Los Angeles Dodgers traded for Michael Young of the Philadelphia Phillies on Saturday night, according to Mark Saxon of ESPN Los Angeles.

Joining one of the hottest teams in the majors, Young brings a .276 average with eight home runs and 42 RBI.

But how will the move impact the Dodgers' World Series chase?

 

Not Starting 

According to manager Don Mattingly, Juan Uribe will remain the starting third baseman:

But will it last?

Uribe is batting .188 in his last 10 games with one RBI. While it's a minor slump, it's one the Dodgers will closely monitor with Young now on the team. To put it into perspective, Young is batting .357 over his last 10 games with four RBI.

Should Uribe continue to struggle, don't be surprised to see Young inserted into the starting lineup.

When Young is not starting, he'll be a key bat off the bench. However, he only has 13 career pinch-hit at-bats. That's not a lot of experience coming off the bench. And when you're acquiring someone for the bench, experience coming into a big situation (cold) is huge. 

On the other hand, Uribe is batting .303 in 66 career pinch-hit at-bats. He is a good option to have and could be pushed to that duty if he continues to struggle as a starter.

 

The Effects of a New Player

The one thing you always have to be careful of when making a trade is the effect it is going to have on a clubhouse.

For a team that is struggling, new blood can inject some energy and get the team going late in the year. However, for teams that are rolling along (like the Dodgers) it could be a move that affects chemistry.

The Dodgers are 23-6 since the All-Star break, and 32-10 since the beginning of July. It hasn't been broken for a long time, so I'm not sure it needed to be fixed.

Young does bring veteran leadership to the Dodgers, which is something that could be key in the development of Yasiel Puig. Having someone who plays the game the right way and can focus on Puig could be the best thing for the Dodgers.

Even if that's not why he's being brought into the clubhouse, it will be one of the roles Young will take on. 

 

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The Effects on a Run at the World Series

Unlike Justin Morneau's trade to the Pirates, this deal won't make too much of a difference since Young won't be a full-time starter. Morneau, on the other hand, will be inserted in the middle of the lineup and provide a power bat.

Young does bring a good bat to the bench and leadership in the clubhouse; but as for on-field results, his presence will have minimal impact.

Even without Young, the Dodgers were one of the favorites to represent the National League in the World Series. They're already headed to the playoffs, so the only real difference he can make is in the postseason.

And if he's not starting, it's going to come down to one or two pinch-hit appearances. For a guy who has very little experience in that role, that could hurt the Dodgers come playoff time.

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