SAN DIEGO -- Chris Young, an All-Star pitcher for San Diego in 2007 who has been beset by injuries in each of the past two seasons, returned from a minor-league injury rehabilitation assignment with a shoulder sore enough that he will undergo two MRI exams this week.
And his frustration level has reached the point where those MRI exams, he said, will be forwarded to Dr. James Andrews, the noted orthopedist and shoulder specialist in Birmingham, Ala.
"I want answers," a perplexed Young said on Tuesday. "I had this thing cleaned up last August. Why am I having trouble with it? It's supposed to be a healthy shoulder."
The big right-hander was shut down for the season last summer after 14 starts, a 4-6 record and a 5.21 ERA. After undergoing arthroscopic surgery on his shoulder in August, he spent the rest of the season and the winter rehabbing and was optimistic this spring that his trouble was behind him.
Young pitched all spring and made great strides, opening the season in the San Diego rotation and making his first start on April 6 in Arizona. The shoulder did not respond well afterward, the Padres skipped his next couple of starts and then a minor-league rehab start for Double-A San Antonio did not go well over the weekend. He surrendered five runs and did not make it out of the first inning.
"I didn't feel pain during the start, but my stuff wasn't where it should be," said Young, 30. "Velocity, life, crispness, sharpness on the breaking ball, command ... it was not where it should be. It was not where it was this spring."
Now, instead of preparing for a return to a major-league rotation currently ranked third in the majors with a 2.85 ERA, Young is coming off of one MRI exam Monday and will undergo a second one, he said, on Thursday or Friday. One is a normal MRI and the other is a contrast MRI.
Young said he isn't even sure anymore why he's undergoing them or what they mean.
"I'm having trouble processing the information they're giving me," he said. "It's going in one ear and out the other because I'm so down on things."
He added: "It's extremely frustrating. All the time and effort and sweat I've put into getting back to health, it's so frustrating to be sitting here now dealing with this.
"In all honesty, this is the hardest I've worked on my shoulder in my life."