Braves First Base Coach Eric Young Sr. Skipping 2020 Season Due to Coronavirus Fears

Eric Young
Atlanta Braves coach Eric Young | Logan Riely/Getty Images

The coronavirus has already infected at least four members of the Atlanta Braves, including star first baseman Freddie Freeman. First base coach Eric Young Sr. has decided to not join the team in preparation for the season as he tries to avoid contracting the virus himself.

Young, 53, has opted out of the 2020 MLB season, citing the fact that he is a "high risk" person who could really suffer should he contract the virus. DeMarlo Hale, who was the Toronto Blue Jays bench coach between 2013 and 2018, will replace him.

Young, the father of former Mets speedster Eric Young Jr., was a former All-Star shortstop who made his name in the 1990s with the Colorado Rockies and Los Angeles Dodgers. He ended his career with a .283 average, 1,731 career hits, and 465 steals.

Young went into coaching in 2010, and his decade-long run included stints with the Rockies and Arizona Diamondbacks. Young joined the Braves in 2018 as the first base coach, and the Braves finally started to come into their own when he joined the staff.

Young will likely be back in 2021, but the Braves have already lost their first baseman and first base coach as they try to navigate what will be an unusual 2020 season.