D’backs Fire Eric Young, Create New Coaching Position

By J. Levi Burnfin

D’backs Kirk Gibson went to the bullpen with Eric Young, who was let go by the D’backs. Image: Jennifer Stewart-US PRESSWIRE

The Arizona Diamondbacks will be looking to fill two coaching positions before the start of next season.

Even after a disappointing 2012 season, the D’backs brass felt comfortable with bringing most of the veteran coaching staff back. However, Eric Young, the first base coach, was released from his duties.

The firing of Young should not be much of a surprise. Many noted during the season that Kirk Gibson leaned on Young to control the running game. Well, that running game faltered. The D’backs stole 93 bases, which left the team ranked 23rd in the league. But that wasn’t the big problem. The D’backs also were caught stealing 51 times – only the Pirates were caught more with 52. That 65% stolen base percentage was also second to last. The team also ran into outs on the basepaths with over-aggressive running.

Gibson should have put a stop to it at some point in the season but never did. Maybe that cost Young his job. Whatever the reason, the D’backs will have to improve in that area next season.

In addition, the D’backs have added another coaching position – an assistant hitting coach that will work under current hitting coach Don Baylor.

A few teams have added this position recently – the Cardinals for example – and it seems to be a growing trend. Perhaps the D’backs thought Baylor could use the help after a season that saw star Justin Upton struggle for five months.