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No. 1 prospect Verdugo joins expanded roster

Outfielder among 4 called up; Rosscup, Utley activated from DL
MLB.com @kengurnick

LOS ANGELES -- There were no surprises from the Dodgers when rosters expanded on Saturday. In addition to adding trade acquisitions David Freese and Ryan Madson, the Dodgers recalled outfielders Alex Verdugo, Andrew Toles and Tim Locastro and catcher Kyle Farmer from Triple-A Oklahoma City and activated infielder Chase Utley and reliever Zac Rosscup from the disabled list.

Manager Dave Roberts said third catcher Rocky Gale might be added on Sunday, but there will be fewer bodies in the clubhouse than last September's 40.

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LOS ANGELES -- There were no surprises from the Dodgers when rosters expanded on Saturday. In addition to adding trade acquisitions David Freese and Ryan Madson, the Dodgers recalled outfielders Alex Verdugo, Andrew Toles and Tim Locastro and catcher Kyle Farmer from Triple-A Oklahoma City and activated infielder Chase Utley and reliever Zac Rosscup from the disabled list.

Manager Dave Roberts said third catcher Rocky Gale might be added on Sunday, but there will be fewer bodies in the clubhouse than last September's 40.

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Roberts reiterated that the callups will "essentially help support the guys that are already here." In other words, neither Verdugo nor Toles will immediately supplant a current starting outfielder, although Roberts left open the possibility of earned additional opportunities.

"Alex is ready to be here, he's Major League-ready," said Roberts. "We're going to be watching closely. If more playing time is the result, great, but that remains to be seen."

Roberts provided no clarity on the immediate future of left-hander Julio Urias, who faced only three batters Friday night and walked two in a Triple-A rehab outing. Urias hasn't thrown a Major League pitch in more than a year because of shoulder surgery. The club hoped he could provide relief help down the stretch, but he hasn't pitched with less than four days between appearances and doesn't appear ready.

The 22-year-old Verdugo, MLB Pipeline's top Dodgers prospect, has had two stints with the big league team this season, slashing .280/.345/.440 with a homer, five doubles and three RBIs in 14 games. He hit .329/.391/.472 with 10 homers, 44 RBIs and eight steals in Triple-A en route to being named a Pacific Coast League Midseason All-Star and Postseason All-Star.

After appearing in a combined 79 games over the last two seasons with the Dodgers, the 26-year-old Toles has only seen action in seven Major League games this season and is 6-for-23 (.261) with a pair of doubles.

Locastro and Farmer will both make their second stints with the Dodgers this season. Locastro, 26, has four homers, 25 RBIs and 18 steals with Oklahoma City this year, while Farmer has played in 32 games with the Dodgers in 2018. Though he's only hitting .238, he was effective as a pinch-hitter for Los Angeles, going 6-for-16 with four RBIs in such situations.

Rosscup has been sidelined since his last outing on Aug. 19 with a left calf strain, and though he owns a 6.75 ERA this season, that last outing was an immaculate inning against the Mariners. Utley has been on the disabled list since Aug. 2 with left wrist inflammation, and the 16-year Major League veteran is hitting .240/.321/.342 this season and has particularly excelled off the bench, where he's 13-for-29 (.448), second in the Major Leagues.

Ken Gurnick has covered the Dodgers for MLB.com since 2001.

Los Angeles Dodgers, Alex Verdugo