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Versatile Young sparkling in return to infield

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SCOTSDALE, Ariz. -- The way Eric Young's spring is going, it would take a team of "Argo-esque" operatives to extricate him from the Rockies roster when they head north in April. EY has offered Walt Weiss everything a manager could ask for, all at warp speed.

He's hitting .300, and has played left, center, and second base, with Weiss eager to consider him as an option at third as well. He creates runs out of nothing, as he did Friday against the Brewers, bunting for a single and advancing a runner to third, then scoring from first on a Carlos Gonzalez double for what proved to be the winning run.

The challenge for Young is supposed to be reintroducing himself to the infield, but in his first spring start at second base, he helped turn a 5-4-3 triple play to avoid a potentially big inning in what turned out to be a one-run game.

"EY got the throw off, off-balance," Weiss said of Young. "Very, very nice turn by EY."

Young takes it in stride, focusing on his role as a pivot man without getting caught up in counting outs around the bases.

"It was a tough turn," Young said. "I knew the runner [from first] was bearing in, because [third baseman Nolan Arenado] had to run to third, touch third, and then come across. But I just treated it like a regular double play. Catch it and make the turn. It's a cool play to be a part of."

It's been a couple years since Young played at third, but he is all about the preparation, and he's been taking grounders there every day for a year. That level of preparation helped him maintain his game at second, where he began his career before shifting to the outfield to find more opportunities to crack Colorado's lineup.

"I never lost confidence at second base," Young explained. "If I see my name there in the lineup, go play. If not, go play wherever my name is. This year, it's just any way I can get out there on the field. At this point I want the at-bat, no matter what position."

Before 2012, his career highlight may have been leading the Rockies in steals the previous year despite playing less than half the season. But after three seasons with scattered call-ups and a consistent average in the .240s, Young broke through in 2012, hitting .316 in 98 games -- all as an outfielder -- before an intercostal strain cut his season short.

Young hits the ground running in 2013, determined to maximize his chances and become a manager's best friend.

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