LOS ANGELES -- It's not exactly a focal point, but no part of the Dodgers roster changed more over the winter than the bench.Olmedo Saenz, the primary right-handed pinch-hitter for the past four years, is gone and signed as a free agent with the Mets. Backup catcher Mike Lieberthal, retired. Utility infielders Wilson Valdez and Shea Hillenbrand, gone.
Los Angeles Dodgers
Young is an intriguing component. He's hit everywhere, and he's out of options, so management believes he must make the club or be lost to another team. As a switch-hitter, he can be particularly valuable pinch-hitting if he can handle a role best suited to a veteran.Young also can play the outfield, where he was moved three years ago after struggling defensively at second base. Another bench candidate is Jason Repko, again trying to get his career back on track after being derailed by another injury. He blew out his hamstring last Spring Training and needed surgery that cost him the entire season. While recovering, he suffered a stress fracture of the ankle he injured two years ago. He says he's completely healthy. Besides Martinez, the non-roster list of bench contenders includes outfielders John-Ford Griffin and George Lombard, infielders Angel Chavez, John Lindsey and Terry Tiffee and catchers Danny Ardoin, Rene Rivera, A.J. Ellis and Gabriel Gutierrez.
Ken Gurnick is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.