D-backs’ Alex Young once got his own hotel in minor leagues
Consider it a tale of paying one’s dues or more evidence to support the ongoing debate over how minor league players are treated. Either way, Alex Young has a story to tell.
The Arizona Diamondbacks pitcher told of when he was in the minor leagues and got his own hotel room.
“We were in Clinton Iowa, so it’s low-A for the Mariners,” he told Doug & Wolf on 98.7 FM Arizona’s Sports Station Thursday. “Actually, it’s our second game of the season. So this is my first full season in 2016. Me and Taylor Clarke are teammates — we walk into Motel 8. The bed is just disgusting, it’s like, there’s bugs in the room. There’s hair. It was so gross. The lady at the front smelled like cigarettes. It was terrible.
“They said there was like an incident that happened at the hotel earlier, I mean, the town smells like dog food. It’s horrible. I told Taylor, I was like, ‘I can’t stay in this hotel, especially if I pitch the next day,’ so we bought a hotel room at the Holiday Inn Express the next day, just for one night, because it was that bad.”
To our knowledge, that was not a paid advertisement for Holiday Inn Express. But it’s clear Young is not a fan of Clinton or the motel in question. It’s good to be in the major leagues.
Young reflected on arguably the best start of his young MLB career thus far: The time he pitched six innings of a no-hitter and then was removed from the game because of his pitch count.
“There really wasn’t much said,” Young said. “When I came out, I didn’t really know if I was going back out because I knew I was on a pitch limit going into it. That was my second start up and overall that year that was like my fifth start. I didn’t really have anything going. So I didn’t really think I was going to go back out.
“I didn’t really know I had a no-hitter until the last two innings. There really wasn’t much said. [Manager Torey Lovullo] always just says, ‘I’m so mad that I took you out.’ Obviously he’s in the best interest for my health. I think it was the right decision.”
Lovullo announced Wednesday that Young would be the starting pitcher in Saturday’s spring training opener at Salt River Fields.
“[Pitching coach Matt] Herges called me about a week and a half ago and told me, and I was fired up,” Young said. “I was just excited to get that game one, regardless of how little or big it means to them, I’m just super excited to get out there and kind of showcase what I have again.”
Even though he’ll be starting Saturday, and started last year for the D-backs, it remains to be seen what his role will be with the 2020 club. Depth in the starting rotation could potentially push Young out of that starting role, and Lovullo said Wednesday he’d consider having Young pitch out of the bullpen.
“They told me just not to worry about the outside noise and all the people we brought in trying to compete for a spot,” Young said. “For me, I mean, I think I can be a reliever or a starter. For me, I want to be on this team. I want to help this team win. The group of guys that they brought in, I think they’re awesome and so I want to be a part of that regardless of where I’m at. I mean, I would love to start but wherever they need me — I think I can be a long reliever, kind of wherever.”