SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Rockies manager Walt Weiss sent out an early spring lineup during Monday's 9-1 win over the Rangers that might be a good changeup during the regular season -- Eric Young Jr. leading off and Dexter Fowler batting second.
Young, the team's fastest player and best stolen-base threat, went 1-for-2 with a walk and scored both his times on base. Fowler, the usual leadoff man, went 1-for-3, with the hit being a triple to center field to drive in Young from first. Fowler is better at putting his speed to use with the ball in play on hits to the gap, as well as defensively.
The idea of using the Young-Fowler combo is one of the reasons Weiss wants to increase the number of positions Young plays. Previous manager Jim Tracy shifted Young from second base to the outfield. Young started in left field Monday, as Carlos Gonzalez rested, and he still will play all three outfield spots, but Weiss has had him rekindle his skills at second and will try him at third.
"It's fun to watch with those two guys at the top of the order, and it really puts you in a situation where the opposing team is reacting to what we're doing," Weiss said.
Weiss has said he believes the team will hit for power, but he also wants to use speed more effectively. The speedy first two hitters could be a boon to the team's efforts on the road, where the Rockies traditionally struggle because pitches are more effective away from the mile-high altitude.
"There are times on the road where it seems that would be a nice formula, having that type of speed in the lineup," Weiss said. "That speed plays everywhere, but particularly on the road, where we have to manufacture runs."