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Youth At The Helm For Dodgers

—In choosing Dave Roberts as their new manager, the Dodgers’ decision-makers praised his energy, enthusiasm and open-mindedness to the progressive direction the organization plans to take.
The same qualities were apparently at the forefront when assembling the minor league staff as well. The Dodgers announced their group of minor league managers for the 2016 season, and it is a decidedly younger group. Of the six—Bill Haselman at Triple-A Oklahoma City, Ryan Garko at Double-A Tulsa, Drew Saylor at high Class A Rancho Cucamonga, Gil Velazquez at low Class A Great Lakes, Shaun Larkin at Rookie-level Ogden and John Shoemaker in the Arizona League—four are 36 years old or younger. Only Haselman (50) and Shoemaker (59) return from 2015 when five of the six managers in those positions were 48 or older. But skewing younger is "more coincidental than anything,” according to Dodgers director of player development Gabe Kapler. "Age will never be a factor,” Kapler said. "What we are looking for is dynamic, charismatic leaders who were willing to pay attention to the initiatives we have in place in our player development. Healthy foods, communication, trust—things that are important to us, we want them to be fully engaged in that.” Haselman figures to have the biggest challenge next season, moving up from the California League to Triple-A. The OKC Dodgers made 334 transactions last season. Eighty-four different players appeared in at least one game for them with the Dodgers’ front office shuffling players constantly in an attempt to customize the big league roster for optimal results, at times on a daily basis. Kapler acknowledged "we really love the concept” of maximizing flexibility at the big-league level and Haselman will have to deal with similar roster churn in 2016. L.A. CONFIDENTIAL • The Dodgers signed outfielder Rico Noel to a minor league contract. Noel, 27, spent September (and the wild-card game) with the Yankees last season. Noel is just a .254 hitter in six minor league seasons but has 283 stolen bases in that time in 344 attempts. • Utilityman Elian Herrera

Versatile Jake Peter Looks Like A Perfect Fit

Trade pickup Peter looks like a match for a Dodgers organization that values positional versatility.

is back with the Dodgers. Herrera signed a minor league contract with a non-roster invitation to spring training. The 31-year-old Herrera was with the Dodgers in 2012 and 2013.

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