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Michael Young and projecting the Colorado Rockies bench


Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

The Colorado Rockies have not signed Michael Young yet. They have him as a target for a veteran bat off the bench, and presumably his future contributions to the clubhouse culture as a great locker room guy only enhances his value with this front office. Young still wants an opportunity to start, but the longer the off-season wears on the less likely that will be. That’s where the Rockies might come in.

If the Rockies signed Young, he would provide a veteran right-handed hitter who makes a lot of contact and would give tough at-bats. You would here a lot about how he is a professional hitter, a true professional, and other cliches that center around the word professional (even though the whole roster is professionals, but whatever). In previous stages of Young’s career, part of his appeal would lie in his versatility. At this stage that is not necessarily the case; any playing time in the field would be at third base or first base.

As Colorado tries to figure out what to do with Justin Morneau against left-handed pitchers, having Young available to take some starts or spell Wilin Rosario at first in late innings would be an acceptable option. So if Young were in the fold, here’s how the rest of the bench might shake out.

1B/3B – Michael Young

OF – Charlie Blackmon

This is not necessarily to assume that Corey Dickerson would decidedly outplay Blackmon for the starting left field spot. It has more to do with how suited Blackmon is to that that role. He plays all three spots competently on defense and can be versatile in where he is placed in the lineup. You can bat him lead-off and you can bat him 8th and almost anywhere in between. He might be like Manu Ginobili; it makes more sense to have him available as a reserve than it does to start him.

C – Jordan Pacheco

Played out of his spots at third and first, the contact-hitting Pacheco is left to a role as a reserve catcher. Offensively this is probably a plus for the Rockies; he will be more capable at the plate than most back-up catchers. Defensively….meh, we waved bye-bye to good defense behind the plate a while ago.

2B/SS – Josh Rutledge

Capable of playing both spots, though his defense is sub-par at times. Still, this team will always need a guy who can step in and play shortstop every day in the event of a Troy Tulowitzki injury, and they could do much worse than Rutledge. There will be some pressure on Rutledge, presuming the Rockies don’t trade him, to be a guy who has some pop in pinch-hitting appearances.

Utility Infielder – Jonathan Herrera

Because he will be a member of the Colorado Rockies for life.