It would have looked even better had RHP Young been able to stay healthy. Young's 2010 season with the Padres consisted of his first start, 6 shutout innings of baseball. After that, he was placed on the disabled list with a torn anterior capsule muscle in his right shoulder. Rather than have the shoulder operated on, Young chose to rehab, a decision that would likely have ended his season anyways. But the Padres had several injured pitchers and others on innings limits towards the end of the season. Young was asked if he could make a couple of starts to help out. He did his best, starting three times in September, pitching 4 innings, 5 innings and 5 innings, respectively, giving up just two runs in the process and winning his final start of the season.
The Mets were hoping Young was back to being able to pitch. He was slated to be the team's 5th starter and looked pretty sharp through his first 4 starts. He was 1-0, 1.84, averaging 6 innings a start. This included a start against the Phillies where he threw 7 shutout innings and added a couple hits and RBI at the plate. Unfortunately, that became the highlight of his season, one ended when it was discovered that the anterior capsule muscle was torn once again. This time he opted for the surgery, and his 2011 season was finished.
The combination of the Mets wanting to see if Young can reach full health and perhaps Chris wanting to return to the Mets rotation, Young was signed to a minor league contract prior to the 2012 season. As was previously seen with the likes of Johan Santana, it took a while before Young was back in the major league rotation. When he came back, he made 20 starts for the Mets and clearly pitched better than his 4-9 record. He pitched to a 4.13 ERA with a slightly higher than career 1.348 WHIP. However, the fact that Young threw over 100 innings and made 20 starts was a stepping stone for the right hander.
The Mets did not bring Young back for the 2013 season, instead he signed a minor league deal with the Washington Nationals. Battling through injuries, the results of the season had Young considering retirement. In the 7 starts he made for AAA Syracuse, he was 1-2, 7.88, giving up 28 ER in 32 IP. Later on in the season, Young pitched in a couple games for the Rookie League team as well as low A Auburn, throwing 5 scoreless innings. Based on his performance, Young did not warrant a call to the majors, even in September. All in all, a season Young would like to forget and one that could have spelled the end of his big league career at age 34.
However, the Nationals agreed to bring Young back on a minor league deal for 2014. When it was determined he would not make the Nationals and there was not even a spot in the AAA rotation for Young, he was given his release on March 25th. Two days later, the Mariners came calling with injuries to projected starters Hisashi Iwakuma and Taiwan Walker.
After pitching 2 scoreless innings of relief on April 6, Young made his first start of the season on 4/13, throwing 6 scoreless innings, getting a no decision in a 3-0 loss to the Oakland Athletics. In his 4th start of the season, he got his first decision, a win in Yankee Stadium. Young had a spectacular month of May, pitching at least 6 innings in each of his 6 starts. For the season, Chris Young is 5-2, 3.27 in 11 games, 10 starts. What did not work for Young in 2012 with the Mets was a staple of his career. This season, his tendency is to not give up many hits, just 46 in 63 1/3 innings. For his career, Young has pitched 954 innings, giving up just 791 hits.
Great to see Young having some success again in the major leagues. I gotta honestly question where it came from though, as he seemed finished last season. But if he keeps it up, he should get strong consideration for AL Comeback Player of the Year.