The Rockies have designated outfielder Eric Young Jr. for assignment and activated pitcher Chris Volstad according to Troy Renck of the Denver Post.
EY JR designated for assignment. Volstad activated. Tough break for EY but colvin has to play— Troy Renck (@TroyRenck) June 12, 2013
This was undoubtedly a difficult move for the club to make as the Young family has deep ties with the organization, but the recent lack of production combined with the absence of any options remaining on Young's contract forced the team's hand.
After a 2012 season that saw Eric Young Jr.'s on base percentage rise to .377 and his defense improve to tolerable levels, the Rockies gave him a spot on the 25 man roster out of spring training. In April, his play seemed to justify that decision as Young posted a .310 / .338 / .479 line in the season's opening month, but his recent play which has included a .436 OPS in his last 20 games and a regression on defense put him on the hot seat.
In addition, Tyler Colvin has continued to show that he's more deserving of the fourth outfielder spot than Young. Not only does his bat add extra pop to the lineup, but his ability to play a solid defensive at first base makes him an even more attractive option. Colvin's two home run performance on Tuesday night against Washington seemed to provided the final deathblow to Young's chances of holding on to a roster spot as the club finally pulled the plug late this afternoon.
As tough as this move is for Eric Young Jr. though, it's actually good news for Colorado fans in the big picture as it once again illustrates that the front office believes it has a team that's capable of winning the division title. From calling up Nolan Arenado in favor of Chris Nelson in April, to opting for DJ LeMahieu's slick glove work at second base, to designating Jon Garland for assignment last weekend, to this latest set of moves that has knocked Eric Young Jr. off the roster, the Rockies have made it clear that they want as strong of a team as possible on the field right now. Not in 2014, and not after some of the youngsters work to get better at the major league level; they want as strong of a team as possible on the field RIGHT NOW! They believe the division title is there for the taking and they are doing everything in their power to grab it.
As for Volstad, he provides an extra arm in the bullpen in this middle of a long stretch of games at Coors Field in case one of the starters gets knocked out of the game early in the next few days.