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Mariners give Nationals castoff Chris Young a rotation spot

Mar 27, 2014, 12:48 PM EDT

chris young getty Getty Images

Released by the Nationals earlier this week, Chris Young has signed with the Mariners. And unlike most of these scenarios Young is actually getting a major-league deal and a spot in Seattle’s starting rotation.

Young is coming back from thoracic outlet syndrome and didn’t pitch in the majors at all last season, but he was relatively effective for the Mets in 2012 and the 6-foot-10 right-hander pitched decently in Nationals camp this spring.

Seattle planned to have Hisashi Iwakuma and Taijuan Walker in the rotation as No. 2 and No. 3 starters, but both right-handers will instead begin the season on the disabled list. Their return timetables are basically Young’s window of opportunity to impress.

  1. straightouttavtown - Mar 27, 2014 at 12:52 PM

    I’m assuming he signed the 45 day release waiver.

  2. 13arod - Mar 27, 2014 at 1:03 PM

    I’m assuming that shortly after he will need to sign a 45 day release waiver.

  3. mmason0071 - Mar 27, 2014 at 1:27 PM

    Wow. How can Jack Z still have a job? He has scraped right through the bottom of the barrel (Wolf, Baker) and into the crud below. But I guess the M’s don’t need good pitching since their CF and RF are hitting all of .174 and .143 in spring training.

    • theslew - Mar 27, 2014 at 3:11 PM

      Dont be a moron mason…..Saunders is hitting just over .300 this spring. And these veteran pitchers aren’t expected to make a load of money. They are/were here to fill in for injuries

  4. spudchukar - Mar 27, 2014 at 3:16 PM

    The Mariner management deserves a lot of the crap they are given, but not here. They needed a 5th starter, and made a wise move here. Young has impressed a number of teams over the past couple of years, and it is good to see him finally land a solid job.

    Safeco is perfect for the fly ball specialist. He has always been a high fastball pitcher, with most of his success coming in San Diego, where fly balls go to die.

    Hey Mason, not sure where you get your stats, or who you are confusing for Mariner outfielders, but Ackley is their starting left fielder, and he sports a 1.073 ST OPS. Saunders their starting CF posts an .818 OPS, and rookie hopeful Gillespe another possible LF candidate offers up a 1.002 OPS.

    • spudchukar - Mar 27, 2014 at 3:24 PM

      Combine those numbers with Miller’s eye-popping 1.395 OPS, Cano’s 1.002 OPS, and Smoak’s .938 OPS, and you have the makings of a potent offense. Only Seager and Hart have struggled this Spring among the starters, and both have strong pedigrees, and will most likely round into shape.

      Ace Hernandez will dominate, Ramirez is garnering a lot of attention with his outstanding Spring, Iwakuma is healthy and only a couple of weeks behind schedule, as is phenom Walker, and add in Paxton if necessary the the rotation fills out nicely, sure beats the Astros, Angels, Rangers, and even now the Parker/Griffith absent A’s.

      Look out AL West, there is a new sheriff in town, McClendon is his name and he and his posse are bringing hell with ‘em.

      • rightorwrong12 - Mar 27, 2014 at 4:03 PM

        I like the enthusiasm – but the M’s have showed time and time again (re: last spring) that a good spring doesn’t translate into a good season. Given the product we have seen the last 10+ years, they are turning fans into a “prove me your worth it” kind of attitude. I’ll always root for this team, but my pessimism will be there until i see otherwise.

      • spudchukar - Mar 27, 2014 at 4:13 PM

        So only your ST stats are indicative, and mine don’t translate. Yeah, I get it. Glad to read you are a fan, I live in Idaho, am a diehard Cards fan, and pull hard for the Rays, but Seattle is a team that I am surely a strong fan of. They are better than you think. Second, in the division and a WC team, with 87 wins.

    • mmason0071 - Mar 27, 2014 at 10:02 PM

      I am not confused, just following what the team has said. Almonte has been starting in center all spring and seems to be the regular season starter despite the .174 average. Saunders looks liked a platoon in right at most, and has always hit about .400 in spring and then .220 in the season. Gillespie isn’t even in the picture for the regular season. Hart was brought in to play RF and has the .143 BA in the little playing time he has managed.

      My point is that the M’s need a lot of players to recover past success (Hart, Morrison, and now Young) and a lot to suddenly improve (Ackley, Zunino, Saunders, Smoak, Miller) just to make up for losing Morales and Ibanez. Even for a team not expected to be very good they have a lot more downside than upside.

      • spudchukar - Mar 28, 2014 at 9:19 AM

        The Mariners don’t need any of those players to excel in order to by-pass most of the teams in their division. They have made it clear that Ackley is the left-fielder. Saunders is the centerfielder, and some combination of Hart/Morrison/Almonte et al to hold down right field.

        They have an All-Star third baseman. Their shortstop, who has had a spectacular Spring is only beginning to get the recognition he will warrant by season’s end. And even with Smoak penciled in at first they have as good an infield as anybody in the game.

        Replacing Ibanez and Morales, neither of whom posted .800 OPSs, takes very little, not to mention being saddled with Bay.

        Young is just a temporary piece, who unless he excels will be a long relief bull pen option, AAA insurance, or on the waiver wire. By mid-April the rotation will be comprised of Hernandez, Iwakuma, Ramirez, Walker, and probably Paxton. And if any of those struggle, Nick Franklin will be moved to acquire a quality replacement.

        And again, to select the only two Mariners who have had less than stellar Springs to augment your narrative is lame. Hart’s return was expected to take some time, and Almonte was merely a AAA candidate, hoping to find a roster spot.

        If the Spring is any indication, and that was your premise, then the Mariners won’t just be a WC team they will walk away with the division.

  5. thebirdsareback - Mar 28, 2014 at 6:44 AM

    Atleast your football stadium is like….really really loud

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