The Colorado Rockies filled out their coaching staff today, dubbing Blake Doyle their hitting coach and franchise favorite Eric Young their new first base coach.
“These two were selected from a very strong list of candidates…Aside from their knowledge of the game, Doyle and Young provide our club with passion and positive energy that is quite unique. They both are familiar with our team, having spent considerable time with our club last season. I am confident that we are adding two dynamic teachers to the outstanding coaching staff we already have.”
Young’s hiring continues the trend of bringing back the good ol’ days, though that approach didn’t stick with Doyle’s predecessor Dante Bichette. EY’s return to Colorado continues the strange arc of his post-playing days, which have taken him from ESPN (Souvenir City!) to a gig with the Arizona Diamondbacks. But he is familiar with the division and he is familiar with the Rockies, so this feels like a solid hire, skepticism about hiring former Rockies aside.
As for Doyle, he is faced with the same stinkin’ challenge as every failed (and I do say failed) hitting coach before him: find a way to make his offense hit on the road. The post-Clint Hurdle era of hitting coaches has been underwhelming, to say the least. Each new hitting coach and each approach have failed, whether it was Carney Lansford with his emphasis on hitting the ball the other way or Bichette and the “Blake Street Bullies” or Don Baylor bringing his former-manager-wisdom or the curve-ball machine for road batting practice. This team stinks on the road because they cannot hit on the road, and that fact has been the undoing of a number of Rockies hitting coaches.
Spring Training will come, and we will hear why Doyle’s approach is the one that will fix things on the road or why he is really relating to the players well. That’s all fine, but it rings hollow until we see the results over the course of the long season. And if he is somehow the guy who cracks the code, well…that will be something.