KTAR's John Gambadoro is reporting that Diamondbacks center fielder Chris Young will be sent to AAA Reno. Young's "struggles" have lasted all season - he is hitting only .194 and has crossed the .200 line twice since the end of April. This move has been a long time coming, and it was likely his poor defense in the outfield on Sunday that sealed his fate. Injuries to Eric Byrnes, Justin Upton and Conor Jackson opened the door for the minor leaguers this season, and Young has been unable to keep up with the breakout performances of Alex Romero, Gerardo Parra and Trent Oeltjen (all of whom were in the minors at the start of the season).
Young's had two decent seasons with the Diamondbacks in 2007 and 2008, combining for 54 home runs and 41 stolen bases. He placed 4th in Rookie of the Year voting in 2007. In all 4 seasons, however, his highest batting average was only .248 (.315 OBP / .443 SLG / .758 OPS) in 2008.
Nick Piecoro's road trip notes last night said that "on-again off-again" talks of sending Young to Reno were back on, and he confirms that Young has been demoted. Infielder Rusty Ryal has been recalled from AAA, which likely means Ryan Roberts will be the 4th outfielder.
Rusty Ryal was drafted by the Diamondbacks in 2005. He has never appeared in a major league game. This season in Reno, he's hitting .290/.347/.527 with 17 home runs, 33 doubles and 6 triples.
Thanks to Zephon for the news.
[Update] Audio clippage from Josh Byrnes and AJ Hinch on the news. Both men talked about how they've seen "flashes" of success with Young this season, just not on a consistent enough basis. According to Hinch, Young was "disappointed, frustrated" in receiving the news, but handled it as a "professional" - Byrnes said they want to see "consistency of quality of at-bats" from Young before any they consider bringing him back. It seems clear they are in no rush, unless he is ready, and there is no guarantee he will be back when rosters expand September 1.
Audio courtesy of KTAR 620