Braves coach Eric Young Sr. opts out of 2020 season

Credit: Alyssa Pointer

Credit: Alyssa Pointer

Braves first base coach Eric Young Sr. has opted out of the 2020 season, according to manager Brian Snitker.

The 53-year-old Young is in the high-risk category for COVID-19. The Braves did not disclose why Young is higher risk.

Snitker and Young had a long conversation on Friday.

“It was a tough decision for him,” Snitker said. “He’s a gamer. We’ll miss him dearly because of what he brings inside this clubhouse, the energy. He’s chosen to opt out, we respect that. I respect him even more for doing that and (being with) his family.”

Minor-league coach DeMarlo Hale will replace Young. Hale joined the organization in 2019 after coaching with the Rangers, Red Sox, Orioles and Blue Jays from 2005-18. He’ll coach first base and work with the outfielders as Young did.

“(Young) will be available for the club (virtually),” Snitker said. “He’ll be in constant communication with DeMarlo and the outfielders.”

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Beloved by players, Young has coached for the Braves since 2018. He was previously with the Diamondbacks (2010-12) and Rockies (2014-16).

The Braves extended Young, along with the rest of their coaching staff, through 2021 in February.