By Shannon Drayer
PEORIA, Ariz. – A quick update on the Chris Young signing:
I talked to general manager Jack Zduriencik a few minutes ago and as suspected, Young had been throwing in minor-league games this spring with the Nationals so the 10 1/3 innings that are listed in the spring stats are not his only innings. According to Zduriencik, he is up to 75 pitches and he expects him to get the start on Saturday against the Rockies.
“We had a history with him and liked what we saw,” Zduriencik said. “The velocity is coming back a bit and he is very deceptive. He’s a veteran guy, terrific person. His pedigree was important coming into this rotation.”
The Mariners had been scouting Young for the past week. He passed his physical and agreed to a deal Wednesday night, signed the contract Thursday morning and then went out and threw a bullpen. While he is healthy now, Zduriencik knows there is no guarantee with any player, let alone a player with an extensive injury history. Young hasn’t pitched a full year in the big leagues since 2007.
“No doubt you have to be concerned with anyone who has gone through what he has with injuries, but we knew him before, we had his medicals, the velocity is up and he feels good. There is always a risk with injury history but [team physician Dr. Edward Khalfayan] felt good about it,” he said.
The move gives the Mariners a bit more of much needed pitching depth. A little breathing room perhaps but not enough to make Zduriencik feel completely comfortable at that position.
“You always need depth,” he said. “You never know. Pitchers go down, we have seen it in baseball this spring. But we have four pitchers we think are close. We’ll see what we have and go out there and compete.”