Before last season I wrote a pair of columns (which I would link to but the site is down) looking at the more interesting non-roster invitees in every team’s Spring Training Camp. It might have been the most enjoyable column to research I wrote all year and I’ll be doing it again at around the time pitchers and catchers report for the 2012 season.
When I do write that column, I hope I get to write a caption about Dmitri Young. Over at the Leader, Jerry Crasnick has an in-depth look at Young’s attempted comeback which is full of good stuff. From the picture in the article, it looks like Young is in much better shape and has lost a hell of a lot of weight since we last saw him. The comeback is unlikely to amount to much but Young, previously best described as ‘husky’, was always fun to watch play.
He’s been out of the game since the middle of the 2008 season but the fact that he’s dealt with the diabetes that caused his first retirement to the extent that a comeback is even possible makes this a great story. If a team thinks he can at least not be passable at the plate during Spring Training then there’s really little harm in having him in camp, particularly on a young team that would benefit from having a senior pro around.
Realistically, Young isn’t going to make anyone’s Opening Day roster and there’s no indication in Crasnick’s article as to whether Young would be willing to go to Triple-A so he may well call it a day if he doesn’t get the sort of offers he’s looking for. Having said that, if he was giving the opportunity to get some bats as a team’s DH in 2012 he wouldn’t have to offer much to outhit his brother Delmon’s .268/.302/.393 slash line from last year.