Mariners notebook: Chris Young learning from his teammates
Heading into spring training, Chris Young knew he would not be with the Nationals for long. Their rotation was set and he was a bit of a question mark coming off surgery. Still, it was a good place to get ready for the season and he knew his time would come later in the spring.
The Nationals released him and a good number of teams needed starters. He had other options but the more he looked at Seattle the more he was convinced it was the right place for him. Safeco Field obviously was a good fit. Seattle was a favorite place for him to visit. Manager Lloyd McClendon came into play as well.
“I had spoken with previous players who had played for him and multiple players told me he was their favorite manager they had ever played for,” Young said. “I’ve had a great experience with him. I really respect him. I think he’s got a great demeanor to him, he really backs his guys. It was really awesome to see him get his 400th win. I told him I hoped I would be there for 500 and 600 as well.”
Young has also enjoyed his teammates. At every stop along the way he has tried to learn something from those around him. In his interview for the pregame show he said that he could learn something from every pitcher on the staff.
“Watching (Hisashi) Iwakuma, he just dissects hitters the way he keeps them off balance,” Young said. “To watch Felix (Hernandez) and his competitiveness. Obviously I don’t have the talent he has but seeing how competitive he is I feel that is something we all can take and use. Really every pitcher on this staff, and seeing how they work and the commitment to one and other to be great, I think that is what makes this team special. We all want to do it for one and other.”
Out of curiosity I asked what it was he tried to take from Fernando Rodney.
“His poise,” Young answered. “Fernando is so poised on the mound. You can’t tell if he has given up a home run or struck out the side. He maintains that cool collectiveness. He does not show emotion. He is really able to slow the game down and process it at another level. Sometimes I feel like my mind is racing with thoughts out there but watching him have the amazing ability to slow the game down and compose himself.”
Watching Rodney and the rest of the bullpen helps Young and the other starters hand the ball over when McClendon determines it is time.
“It’s hard to argue with him,” he said. “That’s the hard part. I have been on staffs where you say, ‘No, I am staying in this game. This is my game,’ but when Lloyd comes over to the bench and says you’re done, what are you going to say? These guys are phenomenal.”
Austin Jackson, 8
Dustin Ackley, 7
Robinson Cano, 4
Kendrys Morales, DH
Kyle Seager, 5
Chris Denorfia, 9
Logan Morrison, 3
Mike Zunino, 2
Brad Miller, 6
• McClendon gave the team a bit of a break today, allowing players to report a little later than usual and canceling batting practice on the field. Players could hit off live pitching in the cages and infield coach Chris Woodward was available to throw knuckleballs to anyone who thought that would help them prepare for Blue Jays starer R.A. Dickey.
• Michael Saunders is scheduled to report back to Triple-A Tacoma Thursday after going home for the birth of his second child, a son. McClendon wants to see Saunders get a few more games in Tacoma before bringing him back up. I would imagine we see him in Philadelphia.
• Roenis Elias pitched five no-hit innings for the Rainiers in New Orleans tonight. He finished with one walk, six strikeouts and threw 62 pitches, 44 for strikes. He will rejoin the team next week and pitch the first game of the Phillies series.
• The Mariners have yet to give up more than three runs in a game this month. They are allowing 2.09 runs per game while scoring 5.18.