LOS ANGELES -- We have reached the end, folks, and it involves Michael Young at shortstop. The Dodgers end their regular season on Sunday afternoon against the Rockies, and their veteran infield acquisition returns to a position at which he was once very familiar.
Young played shortstop regularly for the Rangers for five seasons, from 2004-2008, and has started 775 games there in his career. But in the last five seasons he has only started five games at shortstop, and none this year.
We knew Hanley Ramirez would get Sunday off, and normally that would have meant a Nick Punto start at shortstop. But Punto is dealing with an ingrown toenail on his right foot and, while the injury isn't expected to affect Punto's status for the NLDS, he is likely unavailable on Sunday.
The other option to start at shortstop is Dee Gordon, but I'm guessing the Dodgers wanted Young to get some reps at shortstop, as he did on Saturday at second base, just to get acquainted again with the position in case he is needed there in an emergency situation in the playoffs.
Hyun-jin Ryu starts the game with a 2.97 ERA, vying to give the Dodgers a third starter with a sub-3.00 ERA for the first time since 1988, when Orel Hershiser, Tim Leary and Tim Belcher turned the trick. Ryu has allowed 62 earned runs in 188 innings this season and is likely to be limited to five innings in his regular season finale, so he'll have to give up two runs or less to reach his December goal of an ERA in the twos.
Time: 1:10 p.m.
TV: Prime Ticket