It looks as if the Chris Young experiment is over. Young, the oft-injured pitcher, did was he does best–get injured. The right-hander felt some tightness the other night while he was warming up for his start, and exited before even throwing a game pitch. The MRI exposed a tear in the anterior capsule in his right shoulder, which is the same exact injury he had early last season. Assuming he gets surgery, Young will be out the season, but it’s also possible he’ll just hang ’em up.
It wasn’t too long ago that Chris Young was the next good, young pitcher. From 2004 to 2008, the 6′ 10″ righty posted a 3.72 ERA, 1.18 WHIP, 42 Wins, and 588 K’s in 655.6 IP for the Texas Rangers and San Diego Padres. However, from 2008 to 2010, the Princeton graduate only pitched 198.3 innings, and looked over-matched in 2009 (5.22 ERA, 1.44 WHIP, and 5:4 K/BB ratio).
Despite the rough road back from injury, Young tossed twenty quality innings late in 2010 for the Padres (0.90 ERA, 1.05 WHIP, 15 K’s, 11 BB’s, and 2 Wins). The Mets took notice of his late-season success, and signed him to a $1.1 million deal (plus incentives reaching as much as $4.5 million). Since Young did not reach any of his incentives ($0.125M each for 10, 15 GS; $0.15M for 20 GS; $75,000 each for GS 21-25; $0.125M each for GS 26-31 as well as $0.125M for 70 IP; $0.15M each for 80, 90, 100, 110, 120, 130, 140, 150; $0.175M each for 160, 170 IP. $0.2M for 180 IP), the Mets just owe Young his $1.1 million base.
Dillon Gee, who made the emergency start in Young’s place, will assume his rotation spot full-time barring a miraculous recovery. Chris Young finishes his 2011 season with a 1-0, 1.88 ERA, 0.95 WHIP, and 2.00 K/BB. Young certainly had a great beginning to the season, but his season-ending injury is anything but surprising.