Posted by Frank Klose
One under-the-radar Phillies signing was signing Delwyn Young to a minor league contract . While most who signed such contracts found themselves wearing uniform numbers in the 70s and 80s, Young got a nice low number 24 jersey, one small indication that he is in the Phillies' plans. Young will be able to serve the Phillies in many ways, offensively and defensively.
A Phillies weakness in 2010 was their bench, which was used early and often. Ross Gload excelled as a pinch-hitter, but really has no position other than first base, limiting the Phillies' options. Greg Dobbs struggled, further limiting the Phillies' options. Wilson Valdez performed well as the backup middle infielder, but with Chase Utley's injury, and Placido Polanco and Jimmy Rollins coming off injuries, the Phillies needed another infielder.
Young should be able to help fill the roster spot and role that Greg Dobbs held in 2010, a pinch hitter who can help play the infield and outfield when necessary. Known for his defensive versatility, Young has seen action at second base and third base since coming up with the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2006. So far Young as started games at left field, right field, and second base in Grapefruit action.
Young has played second base more than any other position in the big leagues. How comfortable is Young playing the infield?
"It's like riding a bike," Young told me via Twitter. "Rusty at times but u never forget how to do it."
Besides being versatile in the field, Young is versatile with the bat. A switch-hitter, Young will be called upon in the late innings to pinch hit from either side of the plate. With Ben Francisco likely starting in right field, Young may pick up a lot of the right-handed pinch-hitting at bats.
Looking at the Phillies' roster, bench spots will go to Ross Gload, Wilson Valdez and Brian Schneider. The other two are up for grabs, and barring any late acquisitions, the inside edge goes to Young to cover many bases.
Finally – the Phillies will finally have an active player on Twitter! @dweezy_24
Some Delwyn Young Facts: