Chris Young pitched just four games last season, struggling to make his way back after shoulder surgery the year before. So when he became a free agent after the Padres let him walk away, the Mets, desperately in need of starting pitching, jumped in.
The $1.2 million contract the Mets handed Young has looked like a steal so far this season, with the 6-foot-10 right-hander displaying the form that made him an All-Star prior to the shoulder troubles. But the Mets have also begun to see exactly why they were able to get him so inexpensively.
The red flags rose for the first time when the Mets announced Wednesday that Young was being pushed back from his scheduled start Friday to Sunday, bothered by biceps tendinitis. Young and Mets manager Terry Collins said there was no concern, that with a rainout Tuesday and a doubleheader Thursday that Mets needed a spot starter for one of the games in Atlanta, and they opted to give Young the extra time because it was available.
But with his injury history, Young will be watched carefully. While the Mets described it as biceps tendinitis, he said that he felt it in his right shoulder.
"Terry said we've got some wiggle room," Young said. "We talked about it, and any chance to nip it in the bud and knock it out, I said let's use the two extra days and go Sunday. But I said if we have to go Friday, if you need me Friday, I'll be ready to go.
"It's one of those things where you can let it linger and deal with it, or just a couple extra days at this point should take care of it."
Young said he first felt the problem after making his first start of the year in Philadelphia on a cold night -- and by getting three hits, he was on base between pitching and couldn't stay warm. After a seven-inning outing Sunday, he felt discomfort after the game and the next morning, taking the day off Monday. But he is confident it's not related to prior troubles.
"The shoulder injury I had in the past, I couldn't even lift my shoulder," he said. "It just was sore. I couldn't even get it into a pitching range. This, I could go through a movement, I could throw a baseball. It's nothing like the past, so I wasn't too concerned with it. From talking to the trainers and the doctors, they said this is pretty common symptoms."
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