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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.”