New York Mets
Chris Young, who had August 2009 shoulder surgery, made one appearance last April last season, then three more in September. And while he had success in those late-season outings, his velocity was in the lower-80s.
Young explained on a conference call Thursday, however, that it really was like the end of spring training for him after being shut down for most of the season following the one early appearance.
“There were no repairs that were made,” Young said, referring to the original surgery. “It was kind of a cleanup. And I think I rushed it a little too fast out of spring training last year. Hindsight is 20/20. I wanted to get on the field as quickly as possible. I wanted to get out there. And I think that I pushed it a little bit too fast and didn’t give it the time it needed to fully strengthen. I’ve had that time since then. I was able to pitch. Really, from the end of July on last year, most of those were in bullpens or rehab starts, but that’s when I started a throwing program that progressed to the point where I was finally able to pitch in a big league game. But really from the end of July to the end of the season, there were no more setbacks. It was just a timetable that’s normal for a pitcher starting spring training.
"I’m really excited about the way I feel right now. I feel healthy. I feel strong. I’m hopeful that it will hold up. I expect it to based on the work and the conditioning that I’ve done. I look forward to being successful. I’m throwing right now. I don’t have a radar gun on me, but I feel the life on the ball and the arm speed is better now than it was at the end of the season. I feel like my arm is stronger now than it was at the end of the season. I was actually pleased at the end of the season. I felt like each start progressively the velocity went up about a mile per hour. That was just part of building arm strength, and unfortunately the clock sort of ran out of time.”
As for the Mets' chances in the NL East, Young praised the lineup, then added: “I know that the starting pitching has taken a little bit of a hit with Johan Santana being out, but hopefully he’ll come back strong at some point during the season. Last year, being on the Padres, it served as a great learning experience for me. But you really can’t make predictions until you get out on the field and play the games. Last year San Diego was picked to finish last, and maybe lose close to 100 games, by a lot of experts. The team overachieved, and it really was a great group of guys who believed in one another. Based on what I’ve seen so far here, it’s the same type of chemistry within the guys. There are a lot of good guys here that I’ve met thus far. If we all pull together and believe in each other and play the game the right way, anything is possible.”