Pitcher Chris Young, who starts today, paused when asked whether his five starts are sufficient to believe he’s approaching the form he exhibited before a series of shoulder injuries threatened to end his career.
“Health-wise, yes,” said Young, who is 2-0 with a 3.03 earned-run average. “Stuff-wise, I’m not there. I don’t know if I’ll ever be there. I’ve had three shoulder operations.”
Young, 34, was an All-Star in 2007 at San Diego before his shoulder became a persistent problem. He averaged just 12 starts a season from 2008-12 and missed nearly all of last year. His last surgery, Young acknowledged, was likely to be his final one — and it offered a new approach in addressing the problem by repairing a nerve that put pressure on his shoulder.
So far, so good.
“The shoulder feels healthy,” Young said, “and I feel when I’ve been healthy in my career, I’ve pitched pretty well.”
And remember, the Mariners only turned to Young after left-hander Randy Wolf refused to sign a 45-day, advance-consent clause after being told he had made the major-league roster in spring training. That decision led to Wolf’s release, and he subsequently signed a minor-league deal with Arizona. Wolf is 4-1 with a 4.18 ERA in five starts at Class AAA Reno. He has an opt-out clause this weekend that permits him to become a free agent if he’s not promoted to the big leagues.
The Mariners, after releasing Wolf, signed Young on March 27 — and Young agreed to the 45-day clause. That clause expires May 13, at which time the balance of Young’s $1.25 million contract will be guaranteed.
Flu derails Seager
The flu continues to work its way through the Seattle Mariners’ clubhouse. The latest victim is third baseman Kyle Seager, who was scratched from the lineup Friday after the club completed batting practice. Willie Bloomquist replaced Seager in the starting lineup.
Some Hisashi Iwakuma numbers after he pitched eight shutout innings Thursday in a 1-0 victory over the Royals: 51 career starts, 24-10 with a 2.65 ERA and 33 quality starts. … Reliever Fernando Rodney entered Friday’s game tied with Baltimore’s Tommy Hunter for the American League lead in saves with 10. … The Royals recalled second baseman Johnny Giavotella prior to the game after optioning reliever Michael Mariot to Class AAA Omaha.
It was 26 years ago today — May 10, 1988 — that Mark Langston set what was then a Mariners record by recording 16 strikeouts in a 4-2 victory at Toronto. Randy Johnson now owns that record with 19 on two occasions, both in 1997: June 24 against the A’s, and Aug. 8 against the White Sox.