DENVER -- Rockies utility man Eric Young Jr. and his father, former Rockies All-Star and current D-backs first base coach Eric Young, were together again Wednesday night, after spending a sad occasion together over the weekend.
Otis Young, father of the coach and grandfather of the player, died last week. Services were Saturday, and afterward Young Jr. played two games at the team's complex in Scottsdale, Ariz., to acclimate himself to game speed. Young Jr. had been out since the previous Saturday to be with his grandfather for his final days.
The Rockies activated Young on Wednesday, and placed third baseman Chris Nelson in the 15-day disabled list with soreness in his left wrist that has been lingering since incurring the injury at Pittsburgh on April 25.
Young was happy to celebrate his grandfather's life.
"He had been sick the last several years, been in and out of the hospital, so he's in a better place," Young said. "He knew we were there. We got there before he passed.
"Throughout this whole journey playing ball, he was a man of few words. He pretty much kept it simple. He'd always tell me, 'Go hit that ball, boy.' That's what stuck in my head.
"I was itching to get out here. I was missing my teammates. I was obviously watching the road trip. I'm just thankful to be out here playing this game. It really put everything into perspective."
Young was able to bat in every inning and had 11 at-bats in two days in Scottsdale, and he played center field the entire game the second day.
Young said he was invited to speak to Rockies players at extended spring workouts.
Nelson is hitting .219 with no home runs and seven RBIs, and manager Jim Tracy said the wrist soreness could be part of the reason he has struggled. During the team's road trip, Nelson often wore a stiff brace on the wrist. He aggravated it when he made a diving catch of a line drive during Sunday afternoon's loss to the Dodgers.