Tag: Chris Young

Chris Young Injury: Updates on Red Sox OF’s Hamstring and Return

Boston Red Sox outfielder Chris Young left Thursday’s game against the Chicago White Sox after suffering a hamstring injury while making the turn around first base. The team placed him on the disabled list, and it is uncertain when he’ll return to the field.

Continue for updates.

Young Placed on 15-Day DL

Thursday, June 23

The Red Sox have yet to make a corresponding roster move, according to Sean McAdam of CSNNE.com. 

The 32-year-old veteran had to be helped off the field following the injury, which Raul Martinez of NBC Boston speculated was a hamstring issue since Young grabbed the back of his leg.

Young Off to Promising Start for Red Sox in ’16

Young has been starting recently for the Red Sox due to both Brock Holt and Blake Swihart being on the disabled list.

He is enjoying a solid season with a .277 batting average, six home runs and 15 RBI in 130 at-bats, but Boston may be forced to find an alternative if Young’s injury lands him on the DL as well.

Jackie Bradley Jr. and Mookie Betts make up the rest of what has been a productive outfield for the Red Sox, but the only other regular outfielder on the roster currently is 27-year-old journeyman Ryan LaMarre.

LaMarre entered the game with just 26 career at-bats to his credit before replacing Young when he was forced to exit.

The Red Sox lead Major League Baseball in runs scored and batting average, so they should be able to continue putting up numbers even if Young is forced to miss some time.

His absence will undoubtedly hurt the overall depth of their lineup, though, and it will make life far easier for opposing pitchers, particularly southpaws, due to Young’s proficiency against lefties.


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Chris Young to Red Sox: Latest Contract Details, Comments and Reaction

After reigniting his career with the New York Yankees in 2015, Chris Young has accepted a contract offer from their rivals, the Boston Red Sox. 

Fox Sports’ Ken Rosenthal and CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman reported Monday that Young agreed to a multiyear contract with Boston, pending a physical. Rosenthal reported Tuesday that Young’s deal is for two years worth $13 million.

Young had a rough three-year stretch offensively from 2012 to 2014, ranking 82nd out of 97 qualified outfielders (minimum 1,000 at-bats) in FanGraphs’ offensive value. He turned things around with the Yankees last season, posting a .972 OPS against left-handed pitching. 

Moving forward, Young’s best role will be as a platoon outfielder, as he did nothing against right-handed pitchers last season to warrant starting against them. 

That may bug Young, who told Alex Putterman of Baseball Prospectus in August that he didn’t want to be pigeonholed into a specific role: “As a player, you never really label yourself in any kind of way. I don’t label myself as a guy who crushes lefties. At the same token I don’t label myself as a guy who can’t hit righties because I was a guy who played every day for quite a while as well. So I don’t label myself in any kind of way.”

MLB.com’s Mike Petriello was quick to weigh in on the news, stating, “Young is a very nice piece for [Boston], but he’s not really an everyday starter, and isn’t someone that forces a trade to happen.”

As long as he understands the situation he’s walking into, along with his new team having a left-handed hitter who can hit righties, this marriage has tremendous potential. Young isn’t a star anymore, but carving out a good niche shows how well he’s adjusted with age (he’s 32). 

Even though being a platoon player does limit Young’s ceiling, it still makes him incredibly valuable. Right-handed hitters with any kind of power are the greatest luxury in baseball right now because there aren’t as many as there used to be.

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Chris Young: Latest News, Rumors, Speculation Surrounding Free-Agent OF

Chris Young provided great value as a platoon outfielder for the New York Yankees in 2015, and the free agent is already generating interest across the league.  

Continue for updates.

Report: Red Sox, Others Interested in Young

Tuesday, Nov. 10

Young resurrected his career this past season in the Bronx after poor stints with the New York Mets and the Oakland Athletics, and teams in need of outfield help have taken notice.

According to Bob Nightengale of USA Today, the Boston Red Sox and additional unnamed teams plan to pursue the 32-year-old veteran.

Per A.J. Herrmann of YesNetwork.com, Young became a free agent Nov. 6 when the Yankees decided against extending him a qualifying offer.

Young was a regular starter for the Yanks against left-handed pitching, and he finished the 2015 campaign with a .252 batting average, 14 home runs and 42 RBI. The majority of that damage was done against lefties, as he hit .327 with seven long balls and 24 RBI.

While Young is no longer the all-around stud he was when he clubbed 27 home runs, stole 28 bases and made the All-Star team for the Arizona Diamondbacks in 2010, he was quite pleased with what he brought to the table as a Yankee in 2015.

According to Dan Martin and George A. King III of the New York Post, Young said, “I didn’t know what was going to happen this year or what opportunities I would have. I think I did a good job of taking advantage of the chances I got. I’ve made some good adjustments since coming here toward the end of last year and did the things I need to do to become productive.”

Young created a great deal of value for himself since he is a versatile player who has proved capable of being a quality, middle-of-the-order bat against lefties.

He also has some speed and can play all three outfield positions, which should make him quite the under-the-radar commodity in a free-agent class that has no shortage of star power.

Signing Young isn’t likely to be heralded across the league, but based on what he is able to provide for what should be a reasonable price, he has a chance to be among the offseason’s biggest steals.


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Chris Young to Royals: Latest Contract Details, Comments, Reaction

On the heels of a strong 2014 campaign, starting pitcher Chris Young has finally found a new home with the Kansas City Royals.

According to the organization’s official Twitter account, the 35-year-old righty has agreed to terms on a one-year contract:

To make room for the 11th-year veteran, the Royals placed pitcher Kris Medlen on the disabled list:

Per Andy McCullough of The Kansas City Star, Young’s contract is largely incentive based:

After sitting out the entire 2013 season, Young enjoyed a renaissance last year with the Seattle Mariners. He went 12-9 with a 3.65 ERA in what was his best performance since making his first and only All-Star appearance with the San Diego Padres in 2007.

Young certainly isn’t an overpowering pitcher, but he is quite imposing at 6’10” and has excellent control.

He should add some depth to a Royals rotation that lost James Shields, and while he certainly won’t be able to replace him, he figures to give KC some solid innings.


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Are 2014 AL, NL Comeback Winners Good Bets to Sustain Future Success?

Major League Baseball announced the 2014 Comeback Players of the Year in the American and National Leagues on Friday, and they got both of them right.

Seattle Mariners right-hander Chris Young was bestowed with the honor in the AL, after the 35-year-old pitched to a 3.65 ERA over 165 innings and cemented the back end of the team’s starting rotation with 12 wins in 29 starts.

Young spent the 2013 season with the Nationals, but injuries prevented him from reaching the major leagues. He managed to log just 32 innings at Triple-A Syracuse, where he registered an ugly 7.88 ERA and made only seven starts.

A clause in Young’s contract allowed him to opt out of his deal at the end of spring training, and soon thereafter he caught on with the Mariners. The veteran turned out to be a bargain for the M’s, costing them only $1.25 million on the year.

In the NL, the award went to Milwaukee Brewers third baseman Casey McGehee, who batted .287/.355/.357 with 76 RBI in 160 games. McGehee’s season was made all the more impressive by the fact he spent 2013 playing for the Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles in Japan. The Marlins signed him last December to a one-year, $1.1 million contract.

But what should we make of McGehee and Young’s newfound success, and, more importantly, what should we expect from them moving forward?


Casey McGehee: Secret to His Success

A year removed from playing overseas, McGehee enjoyed his best season since 2010, batting .287 with a .712 OPS. The 32-year-old’s success at the plate was a product of an 18.2 percent line-drive rate, his highest since 2009, per FanGraphs, when he broke through as the Brewers’ everyday third baseman.

McGehee also made contact at a career-high 84.7 percent clip this season and did so 90.4 percent of the time on pitches within the strike zone, per FanGraphs. The right-handed hitter’s knack for making consistent contact resulted in the lowest whiffs-per-swing rate of his career, according to BrooksBaseball.net.

Finally, McGehee used the opposite field more often this season, seemingly scrapping the pull-side tendency he showed in previous seasons in favor of a more contact-oriented approach in which he drove the ball from line to line, per BrooksBaseball.net.



Though he batted .287 and drove in 76 runs in 691 plate appearances, McGehee’s 102 wRC+ (adjusted runs created) was only a tick above league-average. His 2.0 fWAR tells a similar story, and that includes his modest defensive contributions.

In general, the 32-year-old’s overall production was inflated by career-best strikeout (14.8 percent) and walk (9.7 percent) rates, as well as a batting average on balls in play of .335, well above his .297 career average.

And while he put the ball in play often, McGehee’s high contact rate also produced the most double-play ground balls in all of baseball (31), per Baseball-Reference.com.

We shouldn’t discount McGehee’s improvements from this past season, but a healthy chunk of his success was clearly rooted in luck and above his career norms, thus making it difficult to imagine him putting up similar numbers in 2015.


Chris Young: Secret to His Success

First and foremost, Young, an All-Star back in 2007, managed to stay healthy for the entire season, posting his highest innings-pitched total (165) since 2007, when he was still a member of the San Diego Padres.

He told The Washington Post in the spring, via Paul Hagen of MLB.com:

I’ve battled shoulder stuff, really, for the last five years. And last year, when they finally said this is a nerve issue … my shoulder feels like it did five, six years ago. I’m really excited about it. I expect it to stay that way. It’s the best it’s felt in a long time. I want to get back to being the pitcher I can be.

In terms of performance, according BrooksBaseball.net, the 6’10” right-hander thrived at the top of the strike zone this season, likely a result of the deception he created by working from a lower release point. This was especially true against right-handed batters.

Young’s velocity also was up across his entire arsenal this season, per BrooksBaseball.net, as his fastball sat above 86 mph (86.2 mph, to be exact) for the first time since 2009. Meanwhile, Young threw both of his breaking balls (curveball and slider) nearly two miles per hour harder this year than he did in 2012, marking the first time in his career he’s posted positive pitch values with both offerings, per FanGraphs.



Unfortunately, a majority of Young’s statistics from 2014 suggests that he was the beneficiary of luck.

Though he finished the season with an attractive 3.65 ERA, Young’s FIP sat at significantly less attractive 5.02 due to career-worst nine-inning rates in strikeouts (5.89 K/9) and home runs (1.42 HR/9), per FanGraphs, the latter of which coming despite pitching in a pitcher-friendly park.

On top of that, Young stranded baserunners at a 75.1 percent clip this season, well above his career rate of 72.8 percent, and posted the lowest ground-ball rate (22.3 percent) among all qualified starters, according to FanGraphs. Meanwhile, opposing hitters’ .238 batting average on balls in play against Young was the lowest since 2006 (.226), his first year in San Diego.

And then there’s Young’s alarming injury history, which can be found over at Baseball Prospectus, which features two separate shoulder surgeries, four stints on the 60-day disabled list and a host of other arm ailments, highlighting why he’s never logged more than 179.1 innings in a season since breaking into the league back in 2004.

It is worth noting that he struggled down the stretch during the regular season, going 0-3 with an 8.35 ERA over his final five starts, and he even had manager Lloyd McClendon skip one of his turns during that time frame.

Lastly, the 6’10” right-hander’s vertical release point has dropped every season since 2008, according to BrooksBaseball.net, and it’s safe to assume that his litany of injuries has played a role in that trend.

Generally speaking, a perennially lower release point puts extra stress on the shoulder and therefore increases a pitcher’s chances of suffering an arm injury—which might explain Young’s track record of such injuries throughout his career. It certainly raises doubt about his durability moving forward.


Arbitration and Free Agency

McGehee, after a full season back in the major leagues, is eligible for arbitration for a second time and expected to earn $3.5 million, according to MLB Trade Rumors’ Matt Swartz. He’s set to become a free agent after the 2015 season.

Young, on the other hand, is now a free agent after completing his one-year contract with the Mariners. The 35-year-old veteran is sure to catch on with a new team given his success this past season, but it’ll likely be another one- or two-year deal due to his extensive injury history and obvious overachievement.

Following the season, Young expressed a desire to return to the Mariners next season, via Greg Johns of MLB.com:

“I absolutely love it here,” Young said. “This has been one of my most favorite baseball experiences. I love the team, love the staff, love the organization, love the city and my favorite Major League ballpark. There’s not a negative here. This place is unbelievable.”

FanGraphs’ Dave Cameron also sees Young pitching in Seattle next year, predicting that the right-hander could receive a one-year, $6 million contract.

However, there should be other teams willing gamble on Young at that price, especially ones in need of a veteran presence at the back end of the starting rotation.

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Hisashi Iwakuma, Chris Young Are Unsung Heroes of Mariners’ Rapid 2014 Rise

Felix Hernandez casts a long shadow over opposing batters and his teammates. So it goes when you’re baseball royalty.

Two of King Felix’s Seattle Mariners rotation-mates, though, deserve a moment in the sun.

Entering play Tuesday, the 71-59 Mariners hold a half-game lead over the Detroit Tigers for the second wild-card spot, and unheralded hurlers Chris Young and Hisashi Iwakuma have more than pitched in.

Iwakuma, 33, made the All-Star team in 2013 but began this season on the disabled list with a torn tendon in his middle finger.

He’s long since put the injury behind him and is in the midst of another stellar campaign. His 2.83 ERA and 0.98 WHIP would qualify for No. 1 status on most clubs.

In fact, as ESPN.com‘s Katie Sharp argues, the Japanese import is a de facto second ace:

It’s hard to imagine where the Mariners would be without their dynamic duo of Iwakuma and Hernandez at the top of the rotation. The playoffs would certainly be a pipe dream. But thanks to the combination of baseball’s most anonymous ace (Iwakuma) and most deserving ace (Hernandez), Seattle is now in prime position to give its fans something besides football to cheer about in October.

Here’s another way of looking at how quietly dominant Iwakuma has been: He and Hernandez are on pace to become just the third duo in the live-ball era to finish the season with sub-1.00 WHIPs, per MLB.com‘s Roger Schlueter.

The other pairs? Derek Lowe and Pedro Martinez on the 2002 Boston Red Sox, and Sandy Koufax and Don Drysdale on the 1964 Los Angeles Dodgers.

Pretty decent company.

Young, 35, is emerging as one of baseball’s best comeback stories. Lingering shoulder issues that ultimately required surgery limited him to just nine minor league starts in the Washington Nationals system last season.

His 6.81 ERA in those minor league starts did not portend great things.

But after inking a one-year deal with Seattle this spring, the right-hander has bounced back in a big way. His 150.1 innings pitched speak to a pitcher who’s healthy. And his 12-6 record and 3.17 ERA are pleasant surprises.

Pitching, indeed, has been Seattle’s calling card. Thanks to a stable of quality arms—and to Safeco Field, the most pitcher-friendly yard in baseball, per ESPN.com—the M’s are this season’s most unexpected success story.

The bats can’t be dismissed completely. Robinson Cano is living up to his 10-year, $240 million contract, and All-Star third baseman Kyle Seager has become a grind-it-out fan favorite.

The Mariners’ improbable success, though, emanates from the mound. As of Monday, the M’s own the best team ERA (2.95) and lowest opponents’ batting average (.225) in MLB.

“We’ve got it all,” catcher Mike Zunino told Jerry Brewer of The Seattle Times. “We have guys with great curveballs, great cutters, great sliders, guys with plus fastballs. We have the whole spectrum covered. To have that much talent, we can pretty much match up with any lineup.”

Count manager Lloyd McClendon among the early believers. “I think we have shutdown pitching,” McClendon told Brewer at the outset of spring training.

Still, Seattle’s skipper recently admitted to Brewer, “I can’t say I knew we’d be this good.”

If the Mariners are going to keep being this good, and insert themselves squarely into the suddenly murky American League playoff picture, they’ll need King Felix and his long shadow. 

Just as essentially, though, they’ll need the guys laboring in relative anonymity. Guys like Young and Iwakuma, who might soon get a chance to shine under the bright lights of October.


All statistics courtesy of Baseball-Reference.com unless otherwise noted.

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