Dodgers send D.Y. Young to Pirates

The Dodgers have traded switch-hitting outfielder Delwyn Young to the Pittsburgh Pirates for two players to be named later, according to a baseball source. Young was designated for assignment Monday to make room on the 40-man roster for infielder Juan Castro, who was promoted from Triple-A to replace Blake DeWitt, who was optioned to Albuquerque.

The outfielder had been on the disabled list, still recovering from offseason elbow surgery. He was serving an injury-rehabilitation assignment at Albuquerque. < br>
Young, 26, was a fourth-round Draft pick in 2002 and set a Pacific Coast League record in 2007 when he hit 54 doubles at Las Vegas and was voted the Most Valuable Player by the 51s staff. He was chosen the Dodgers William Schweppe Award as Minor League Player of the Year by Dodgers Dugout newspaper and LADugout.com after leading the Pacific Coast League in hitting (.343), 106 runs and 54 doubles.

Over his seven seasons in the Dodgers' minor league system, he hit .300 or better at Great Falls, South Georgia and Las Vegas three times. He had an overall .303 average wit 826 hits, 106 home runs and 480 runs batted in over 712 games.

Young spent all of 2008 on the Major League club, primarily as a pinch-hitter, batting .246 in 83 games. He hit .292 as a pinch-hitter (14-48) with two double, four RBI and eight walks.

Dodgers Option DeWitt, Recall Castro The Dodgers optioned infielder Blake DeWitt to Albuquerque and purchased the contract of infielder Juan Castro.  

DeWitt appeared in just three games (one start), going 1-for-6 (.167) with a walk and a run scored.  His lone start was at San Diego, filling in for shortstop Rafael Furcal.

Dodgers Manager Joe Torre said that if the team had been able to "envision getting [DeWitt] a couple of hundred at-bats, then it would be worthwhile having him here.  

"But at the start of the season, especially after as much as he played in spring training, you just don't want him to sit here and really not have enough playing time."  

Castro batted .383 (23-for-60) with eight doubles, two homers, and nine RBI in 35 games in Spring Training, and was reassigned to minor league camp on April 5 after the Dodgers' exhibition finale at San Francisco. The 36-year-old started Albuquerque's first two games at second base and started at shortstop, all vs. Omaha (Royals).   

Castro was originally signed by the Dodgers on June 18, 1991. He appeared in 212 games with Los Angeles from 1995-99 before being traded to Cincinnati on April 1, 2000.   

The Mexico native has made 373 career starts at shortstop, 134 starts at second base, 92 at third base, and four at first base. He has a career .977 fielding percentage at shortstop and a .986 percentage at second base.   

Castro is a career .228 hitter with 35 homers and 211 RBI in 14 Major League seasons with Los Angeles, Cincinnati (2000-04, 2006-08), Minnesota (2005-06), and Baltimore (2008).   

Young began the season on the 15-day DL with a right elbow impingement, and began a rehabilitation assignment with Albuquerque on Friday. In three games, he went 1-for-9 (.111) with a walk. The 26-year-old Young appeared in 110 games with the Dodgers over parts of the last three seasons, batting .267 with three homers and 10 RBI.  

Steroids dragnet nabs Ismael Valdez
The New York Times reported that the baseball steroids dragnet has nabbed four new players, including pitcher Ismael Valdez, who was signed by the Los Angeles Dodgers in 1991 and made his major league debut in 1994.

The other players in the Times' steroids expose are the oft-injured former Angels star and current Toronto Blue Jays third baseman Troy Glaus, catcher Todd Green and pitcher Scot Schoeneweis.

According to the Times account, Valdez did not take steroids until he left the Dodgers after the 2000 season. He allegedly found an Angels doctor who injected him with steroids in 2001 because the "Anaheim Angels doctor told him that his testosterone levels were low." Then Valdez allegedly continued his steroid use upon joining the Texas Rangers in 2002.

That steroids would be connected to the Rangers in that period is hardly a surprise. That squad featured Rafael Palmeiro, last seen lying to Congress about his own steroid use. For the record, Raffy hit 43 homers that year, the second-highest total of his career at the age of 37. Alex Rodriguez was also on that team, and has since admitted taking steroids at that time. A-Rod hit a staggering 57 homers that year and drove in 142 runs. Amazingly, he finished second in the MVP race to admitted steroid user Miguel Tejada.

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