There is a saying with injured animals that you need to put it out of its misery.
That same philosophy needs to be taken by the Arizona Diamondbacks in their approach with centerfielder Chris Young.
After Wednesday’s 0-for-4, 4 strikeout performance that included striking out while attempting to bunt, it is obvious Young needs someone to throw him a life preserver and send him to the minor leagues. Even Young would have to admit that this would be best for him.
Right now he is hurting the D-backs and gives them little chance to win, outside of his defense. His approach at the plate is awful, he looks completely lost with a bat in his hand.
During his failed bunt attempt against the Marlins in the first game of the doubleheader I actually was embarrassed for him. To watch him fail to bunt a baseball three times in one at bat should be a clear indication that something is not right with the 25-year old, who is hitting an abysmal .171 through Thursday’s games.
With Gerardo Parra off to a fast start since being brought up from Double-A last week, the D-backs have the luxury of sending Young down when Conor Jackson is recalled next week. It is what is best for the D-backs and what is best for Young.
Now I’m not saying you give up on a young player who hit 32 homers and stole 27 bases two years ago and who hit 22 homers and drove in 85 runs last year. But Young has not progressed in the important category of batting average, having hit .237 in 2007 and .248 last year. He does not hit the ball to the right side on pitches on the outter part of the plate and he doesn’t have a good two-strike approach, choosing to try and drive balls instead of making contact and using his speed to his advantage. He has struck out 356 times in his 1,393 big league at bats, including 165 times last year. By sending him to the minors Young can work on hitting while not jeopardizing the Diamondbacks chances of winning. He can hit Triple-A pitching instead of Major League pitching. And he can be humbled.
It’s a privilege to play in the major leagues, not a right. And right now the pampering of Young needs to stop and he needs some tough love and a reality check. His baseball career is in jeopardy despite being signed through 2013 after inking a 5-year deal worth 26.5 million with a club option for 2014 at $11 million or a buyout of $1.5 million.
At this point of the season what is best for Young and the D-backs is a one-way ticket to Reno.