Friday, August 17, 2012
Did day off rejuvenate Michael Young?
By Ian Begley / ESPNNY.com
Wednesday was just a normal day off for Michael Young. Nothing more, nothing less, according Ron Washington.
But if the Rangers and Washington are lucky, maybe it could turn into something more significant.
Young took his first day off in over two months on Wednesday night.
When he returned to the field Thursday, the veteran looked plenty refreshed.
Young had two hits, a walk and two runs scored in the Rangers' 10-6 win in the Bronx.
Afterward, Young didn't address his day but instead talked about the team.
"We're happy to get the win, we're hoping to take the momentum up to (Toronto) tomorrow," he said.
Young had been struggling prior to his day off Wednesday.
He finished Tuesday's loss to the Yankees with just one hit in his last 13 at-bats. Young's also been suffering through a significant power outrage; the veteran last homered on May 7 against Baltimore.
Need more evidence that Young hasn't been himself?
Only one player in the American League has fewer extra-base hits than Young (24 XBH in 476 plate appearances).
"It's not Michael Young-like," Washington said Tuesday of Young's recent stretch. "But he brings more than just what the numbers say and there's no one more upset about what's going on than Michael Young. But I believe in him and I feel in a minute (Young's turnaround) can happen."
Maybe it started on Thursday afternoon.
Young opened the game with an infield single in the first and scored on Adrian Beltre's three-run knock. He walked in the third, lined to right in the fifth and singled and scored in the seventh.
The lone blemish for Young came in the eighth when he hit a ground ball with Elvis Andrus on third and none out. A fly ball would have scored Andrus.
Still, it was an encouraging day for Young and the rest of the Rangers' offense.
Afterward, Washington downplayed the significance of Young playing well after his day off Wednesday, which was his first since June 10.
"Maybe the first couple games up here Michael wasn't hitting the baseball as well as you guys have seen but he's been swinging the bat much better lately," the manager said. "(Wednesday's) day off is just a day off. I wasn't giving him the time down because I saw something or wanted to do something."
Maybe so. But, maybe, indirectly, Washington got his veteran going.