Enough Is Enough: Chris Young Optioned to AAA

Enough Is Enough: Chris Young Optioned to AAA

After three years in the big leagues, outfielder Chris Young continued to show zero improvement in handling a breaking ball. The Arizona Diamondbacks finally made a statement by optioning him to Triple-A despite his large, long-term contract. Gerardo Parra becomes the team's primary centerfielder in his absence, with Alex Romero and Trent Oeltjen to see some time there as well.

The Diamondbacks finally ran out of patience with center fielder Chris Young and optioned him to Triple-A Reno before Monday's game.

Young was hitting .194 with 23 doubles, seven home runs, and 28 RBI in 103 games. He had two hits in his last 30 at-bats, and his average had not been above .205 since April 30. His struggles came two seasons after he became the first rookie in major league history to have 30 home runs (32) and 25 stolen bases (27) in the same season.

"It's been a frustrating year for him on a lot of levels," manager A.J. Hinch said. "It is time for him to go down and regain his swing and his approach and his swagger, where there is a little less scrutiny and a little less notoriety on a daily basis, and get some regular at-bats."

Young, 25, lost time in center field on the recent road trip to rookie Gerardo Parra, who will get the majority of time there going forward, Hinch said. Trent Oeltjen and Alex Romero also can play center.

Young hit .237 with 68 RBI in 2007 and hit .248 in 2008, when he led the team with 42 doubles and added 22 homers. In April 2008, he signed a five-year, $28 million contract extension that will pay him $1.75 million this year, $3.25 million in 2010, $5 million in 2011, $7.5 million in 2012, and $8.5 million in 2013. The D-backs have an $11 million option with a $1.5 million buyout in 2014.

"At this point of the season, we just want to give him enough time in Triple-A to try a few things, experiment, clear his head a little bit, and kind of rebuild a swing and a approach that can lead to success up here," general manager Josh Byrnes said.

"He is probably not the kind of player who is going to have a high batting average, but he can draw walks, hit for power. What we will look at is the consistency and quality of at-bats."

The Class AAA regular season ends September 7, and Young could return at that time.  He may also rejoin the team September 1, when the major league roster expands to 40 players.

"We would all expect that he would come back after getting a breath of fresh air and refining his game a little bit. But there is a performance side of that," Hinch said.

DIAMONDBACKS 7, METS 4: Rookie OF Trent Oeltjen continued his home run barrage, hitting his third in his four major league games, and LHP Doug Davis won his third straight decision when the D-backs won for the eighth time in 12 games. Oeltjen also had one of five doubles, a hustle double to left-center in the fifth. C Miguel Montero had three doubles and two RBI, and Davis' two-run double after an intentional walk to 2B Augie Ojeda gave Arizona a 3-0 lead in the second inning. 1B Chad Tracy had two run-scoring singles and PH Rusty Ryal singled in his first big league at-bat.

SNAKE BYTES

--RHP Daniel Cabrera's signing was officially announced, although no terms were included. Cabrera spent his first five seasons in Baltimore before signing this season with Washington, where he was 0-5 with a 5.85 ERA before being released. Cabrera will be assigned to Class AAA Reno when he obtains his visa from the Dominican Republic.

--3B Mark Reynolds was named the National League player of the week after hitting .448 with six homers and 10 RBI last week. He had a .515 on-base percentage and a 1.103 slugging percentage. He has seven homers in his last 10 games and 11 in his last 14. He had 11 in his last 13 before going 1-for-3 with a single Monday. In the last 20 years, only four players have hit more homers in the same span -- San Francisco LF Barry Bonds (13, 2001), Cleveland OF Albert Belle (13, 1995), St. Louis 1B Mark McGwire (12, 1998), and Cubs RF Sammy Sosa (12 1998).

--OF Gerardo Parra was held out of the starting lineup Sunday because of a mild hamstring injury, manager A.J. Hinch said. Parra grounded into a double play as a pinch-hitter, ending a career-high 10-game hitting streak during which he was 19-for-43. "These guys are human ... everybody needs a day" off, Hinch said.  Parra was back in the lineup Monday and made an impressive catch in centerfield.

--LHP Doug Davis (7-10) won his third straight decision with his 16th quality start of the season, tied for sixth in the NL. He won his first back-to-back starts since his April 2008 surgery to remove a cancerous thyroid. Davis beat Los Angeles on April 8, two days before his surgery, and then stopped Atlanta on his return May 23. "He pitched as a quality starting pitcher should. He's having a terrific year," D-backs manager A.J. Hinch said.

--CF Chris Young was sent down to Class AAA Reno and will be asked to take a long look at his offensive approach during his time there. Young has 95 strikeouts in 315 at-bats. "At this point of the season, we just want to give him enough time in Triple-A to try a few things, experiment, clear his head a little bit, and kind of rebuild a swing and a approach that can lead to success up here," general manager Josh Byrnes said. "When we've been good" in previous years, "it's usually when he's a part of it."

--IF Rusty Ryal, purchased from Class AAA Reno to take CF Chris Young's spot on the roster, singled as a pinch-hitter in the eighth inning in his first major league plate appearance. Ryal was hitting .290 with 33 doubles, six triples, 17 homers and 70 RBI, plus was selected for the Class AAA All-Star game this season. Ryal, 26, is the son of former major-leaguer Mark Ryal and is the seventh player to make his major league debut with the D-backs this season.

DIAMOND STAT:12 -- Home runs by 3B Mark Reynolds since the All-Star break, the most in the major leagues.

QUOTABLE: "Recently, we showed we can be resilient. We're a good group of battlers and grinders, and it's showing up." -- D-backs manager A. J. Hinch, whose team is 19-16 since July 1.


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