The Most Recent Case For Eric Young Jr.


The Colorado Rockies are 5-1 thanks to two impressive series against the Milwaukee Brewers and the San Diego Padres. Tonight things get ratcheted up as the team visits the San Francisco Giants at AT&T Park, the place where offenses go to die.

Manager Walt Weiss‘s lineup tonight indicates that he wants to be proactive in creating offense in a difficult park against an elite pitching staff. Presumably the decision to sit his buddy Todd Helton was not an easy one (even if it is against lefty Madison Bumgarner), but this is simply the best offensive lineup the Rockies have to offer on this night:

Young Jr. and company. Image: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Eric Young RF
Dexter Fowler CF
Carlos Gonzalez LF
Troy Tulowitzki SS
Michael Cuddyer 1B
Josh Rutledge 2B
Chris Nelson 3B
Yorvit Torrealba C
Jorge De La Rosa P

For starters, that is an acknowledgment of the fact that Yorvit is De La Rosa’s personal catcher (but don’t call him his personal catcher). That means removing the park-proof power of Wilin Rosario from the lineup. One way to make up for that production is to move Dexter Fowler down a spot to the #2 hole and hope that he comes up with traffic on the bases.

More importantly, this decision breaks the status quo of the last number of years. Again and again the Rockies walk into San Diego, San Francisco, and Los Angeles and expect to win with the same approach that they use at home or in any other park. And again and again we watch fly balls die in the gaps as we lament how thick that west coast air is. The case for Eric Young Jr., at this very moment, is that his speed creates different offensive opportunities for the team. The 2013 Blake Street Bullies (if that is going to be a real thing) will need to prove that they are a threat offensively on every night in every kind of park. They need to be able to score 8 with three home runs and with zero home runs.

That might mean that Young Jr. should be in the lineup even with Rosario returns. That will be a discussion for tomorrow night. For tonight he is in there while the Toddfather sits. That is a decision that Weiss got right.