Sabermetricians, take a deep breath: One of your favorite whipping boys actually thinks he can improve his defensive range at age 36.
"Everyone tells me, 'You have no range,'" Phillies third baseman Michael Young says. "I'm like, 'That's not true. I move well. I have good feet. I have good hands.' So, something's amiss here."
Young thinks he has figured out the problem: He was too high in his setup at step, leading to his first step being too slow and balls rocketing by him. This spring, he is working to stay lower, and in his view the difference is noticeable.
"My first step is a lot more explosive than it used to be," Young says.
Such adjustments are critical, and not just for Young. The Phillies, for all their positive spring vibes, will be challenged defensively at several positions. And their manager, Charlie Manuel, will need to be more aggressive with his late-inning substitutions than in the past.
Ask Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. if he is concerned about the...