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As September begins, Dodgers add several with expanded rosters

Colorado Rockies v Los Angeles Dodgers Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images

The Dodgers made several additions Saturday on the first day of expanded rosters, as they continue their four-game series with the Diamondbacks.

A total of seven joined the team, four from Oklahoma City, two coming off the disabled list and the two new acquisitions.

David Freese and Ryan Madson — both acquired Friday at the August trade deadline — were both activated. Freese is in the starting lineup, playing first as the Dodgers face lefty Patrick Corbin. Hitting .284 against left-handers this season, the 35-year-old is a career 2-for-12 against Corbin.

Madson was activated from the disabled list earlier in the week by the Nationals after the right-hander sat out the past two weeks with a bad back. In 49 games this season for Washington, Madson allowed 28 runs (26 earned) in 44 13 innings.

Outfielders Alex Verdugo and Andrew Toles make their return to the team along with Kyle Farmer and Tim Locastro. All four have spent time on the active roster at some point already this season.

“The guys that we called up are essentially going to be help, support for the guys who are already here for most of the year,” Roberts said. “The guys coming, it’s sporadic playing time in certain spots.

“Alex is ready to be here. He’s major league ready. We’re going to be watching closely. If more playing time is a result, great. But that remains to be seen.”

This will be the second straight year the Dodgers have called Locastro up in September. Used mostly for speed on the base paths, the 26-year-old has only 15 plate appearances in 11 games.

Lefty reliever Zac Rosscup and Chase Utley were both activated from the disabled list as expected.

Rosscup, on the disabled list twice in August, had been on the DL since August 20 with a left calf strain. The 30-year-old has made eight appearances with the Dodgers this year, allowing five runs in 6 23 innings, while striking out 10 of the 28 batters he has faced.

Utley has been on the disabled list since August 2, missing the past 26 games due to left wrist inflammation. In 69 games this season, he has posted a .240 batting average along with 10 doubles, one triple, one home run and 14 RBI.

The veteran infielder has been clutch off the bench this year, going 13-for-29 (.448) with three doubles, one triple and five RBI as a pinch-hitter. His 13 pinch-hits and .448 average as a pinch-hitter each ranks the second best in the Major Leagues.

More moves could happen over the next few days, with Ross Stripling coming off the disabled list at some point. It looks like it could be during next weekend’s series with Colorado.

A fourth catcher could be added, making it that much more difficult for Kiké Hernandez to get his shot.

The Dodgers carried 40 players on their active roster in September 2016, and got to 39 players last year. This September, fewer are expected.

“It was definitely crowded last year,” Roberts said.