Chris Young, the San Diego Padres’ No. 1 starter at the outset of the 2010 season, hasn’t pitched in a Major League game since April 6. During that start against the Arizona Diamondbacks, Young tossed six shutout innings, allowing just one hit and three walks, while striking out five. He was soon placed on the disabled list and has missed the entire season.
Well, after several minor league rehab starts, including going 5.2 innings for Class A Lake Elsinore on Saturday, Young will come off the disabled list and start for the Padres on Saturday against the St. Louis Cardinals.
Young has been telling people he feels ready and can get Major League hitters out right now. Padres manager Bud Black has been a little more restrained in his analysis, saying Young still has some work to do.
Young threw 75 pitches in his outing for Lake Elsinore and said he felt his stuff was really good and that he feels fantastic physically. Clearly the guy is ready to go.
So what can the Padres expect from Young? Well, it’s really difficult to say. When healthy, Young has proven to be one of the most difficult pitchers in baseball to hit. The 6’10 righty has an unusual delivery that hides the ball until it is almost on top of hitters, making his 87-mph fastball seem like it’s coming in in the mid-90s.
In his first three years with the Padres (2006-08), Young had a 3.44 ERA, a 1.16 WHIP, 8.4 strikeouts per nine innings and a 2.24 strikeout-to-walk ratio.
Since 2008 he hasn’t been fully healthy. If he is, in fact, fully healthy, Young could be a huge boost to the Padres’ chances of winning the National League West.
The Friars currently hold a half-game lead over the San Francisco Giants, and are 2.5 games up on the Colorado Rockies right now.