LOS ANGELES — When Dave Roberts came through with one of the most important stolen bases in postseason history for the Boston Red Sox in the 2004 ALCS, he already had 135 steals over six major-league seasons.
Tim Locastro was painting his parents’ basement this week.
But the Dodgers’ front office apparently had a last-minute brainstorm and decided the 25-year-old minor-league utilityman might be valuable as “a potential burner off the bench in the postseason,” as Roberts put it before Friday’s 9-1 loss to the Colorado Rockies.
With the loss (and wins by the Cleveland Indians and Houston Astros), the Dodgers’ magic number to clinch home-field advantage through the World Series remained one. The Rockies’ win moved their magic number to clinch the National League’s second wild-card spot to 1.
Locastro had not played since the Triple-A season ended on Sept. 4 but he got two calls from Gabe Kapler, the Dodgers’ director of player development, Thursday at Locastro’s home in upstate New York.
“We talked earlier in the day just about how the offseason was going, how lifting was going, what baseball activity I was doing. We talked about nutrition,” Locastro said. “We got off the phone with each other and about four hours later he gave me a call back.
“It was about 11:15. He asked me if I had any plans this weekend. I said, ‘No, why?’ He said, ‘Do you think you’ll be available to go to Colorado tomorrow?’ ‘Absolutely.’”
Locastro said the news was “a shock” but he arrived at Coors Field in time for batting practice before Friday’s game – the last place he expected to spend a late September evening.
“Absolutely not. It’s the last thing I thought,” he said.
Acquired from the Toronto Blue Jays in 2015, Locastro hit .308 this season while splitting time between Double-A Tulsa and Triple-A Oklahoma City. He finished strong with a .388 average in 31 games for the OKC Dodgers.
But Roberts said he doesn’t anticipate…