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Tim Locastro Auditions For Specialized Role



The Dodgers front office is certainly not afraid to think outside the box in search of any advantage.

Two years ago at midseason, the Dodgers sent a handful of their fastest minor leaguers to a "speed camp" in Arizona, taking them out of organized leagues in order to focus on becoming baserunning weapons. The idea was that one might develop into a weapon suitable for the postseason roster.

None of those players made it to the big leagues after the speed camp was disbanded. This time, the Dodgers went to a basement in Auburn, N.Y., looking for the same thing.

Utilityman Tim Locastro, a 25-year-old acquired in 2015 when the Dodgers traded international bonus pool money to the Blue Jays, finished the best season of his career when the Triple-A season ended on Sept. 4. At two levels he hit .308/.383/.454 with 10 home runs and 34 stolen bases in 127 games. He finished on an upswing, hitting .388 in his final 31 games.

Locastro wasn’t expecting to play again until next spring, but he was working out with some players at Ithaca College near his home—and painting his parents’ basement.

"I ended the year hitting pretty good, so I wanted to keep that feel going in my hands,” he said. "I didn’t want to get completely rid of it.”

Then Dodgers farm director Gabe Kapler called.

"He asked me if I had any plans this weekend," Locastro said, "I said, ‘No. Why?’ He said, ‘Do you think you’ll be available to go to Colorado tomorrow?’ "

Absolutely.

Locastro found himself at Coors Field for the Dodgers' final series of the season. He made his big league debut, stole a base and popped out in his only at-bat.

Tim Locastro (Norm Hall Getty)

Trade Central: Yankees Acquire Tim Locastro From D-backs

In a small move on July 1, the Yankees acquired outfielder Tim Locastro from Arizona in exchange for righthanded relief prospect Keegan Curtis.

The Dodgers ultimately valued a pinch-hitter more than a pinch-runner when they chose third catcher Kyle Farmer instead of Locastro for their Division Series roster against the Diamondbacks.

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