D-backs prepared for life without Chris Young
What seemed like an overhauled roster just a few weeks ago has turned into a life saver for the Arizona Diamondbacks.
During Tuesday's game against the Pittsburgh Pirates, Chris Young ran into the centerfield wall while making a very acrobatic catch, a move that has landed him on the 15-day disabled for the first time in his career.
Young's small ligament tear in his right shoulder could have been much more severe if he had tried to play through it, which was ultimately the deciding factor when General Manager Kevin Towers placed him on the DL.
"It's a long season, and I'd rather have two or three weeks versus four or five months if he were to make it worse by coming back too soon," Towers said.
Young said that his impressive start of .410 with five home runs and 13 RBI's makes no impact on the news that he will be spending at least the next two weeks in the dugout.
"Even if I was scuffing you still never want to get hurt or put on the DL. Yeah, I have been feeling good at the plate but that's not my concern at all," Young said. "You just can't take for granted that any day you can get hurt and have a little hiccup in the season. I just want to stay positive and get healthy so I can get back out there, no matter how I'm swinging the bat."
Justin Upton has been sidelined from a lingering thumb injury that he suffered earlier in the month while sliding into second and Geoff Blum is also on the 15-day DL with a strained side muscle which he injured in warm-ups on Tuesday.
Towers knows that in a 162 game season, injuries are bound to happen, and his ability to sign depth over the off season is going to come in handy over the next few weeks.
With four outfielders that deserve a starting spot, and a set of promising minor leaguers, the team came into the season prepared to take their time in bringing back injured players, no matter the star caliber.
"It happens around baseball. I'd be lying if I didn't say it was a tough morning waking up with what happened to Blum, where Upton was at, and losing CY, who was swinging such a hot bat," Towers said. "But we can't hang our heads, and I think that's what embodies this ball club is we overcome situations like this and hopefully we'll do it again this year."
That said, the Diamondbacks are playing it smart, calling up Cody Ransom (3B) and AJ Pollock (OF), to help fill roles left unoccupied.
Gerardo Parra, Jason Kubel and Pollock will share time in the outfield for the time being, and utility player Willie Bloomquist could even see some time in left field, a position he has played in the past.
Towers has said that the team will take their time in resting Upton as well, who had fluid drained from his thumb on Tuesday. Upton pinch-ran late in Wednesday's game against the Pirates, but the injury has kept him from swinging a bat in the last few days.
"He's a lot like CY, a guy that selfishly, we want back in the lineup but we're in this for the long haul," Towers said. "I'd rather have a healthy Justin Upton than someone who has discomfort and is trying to play through something at 50 percent."
Towers hopes to have Young back in two to three weeks, but can now take advantage of signing Kubel and hanging on to Parra in the meantime, a move that was questioned by many during the offseason.
The injuries give Kubel and Parra, two players who haven't quite found their stride in 2012, the chance to start every day and get into a rhythm on the field. It also gives Pollock and Ransom the chance to showcase their big league talents a bit earlier in the year than expected.
"You've got Pollo up here now, G-P, Kub, and hopefully J- Up will be healthy soon too," Young said. "That's one thing we've been able to do, we have great players in the big leagues and in the minor leagues who can take over if needs be. I'll be pulling for ‘em."
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