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21 January, 2011

Chris Young and the Mets

   The Mets signed Chris Young this week to a 1-year,
incentive-filled deal. He can tack $3.4 million on to his
guaranteed $1.1 million if he makes 31 starts and pitches
180 innings.  That might be a stretch for a guy who hasn't
made 31 starts since '06 and has never pitched 180 innings
in a season.
    I'm not completely opposed to the deal as I think he is a
talented guy and a good fit for Citi Field. My biggest concern
is he is just another in a long line of "Ifs" that make up the Mets staff.
  He admitted that he pushed too hard coming out of spring
training last season as he recovered from shoulder surgery.
Hopefully, a year wiser, he can handle his comeback more
intelligently this time around. You wouldn't think making smart
decisions would be an issue for a Princeton guy.
He did tell the A.P. that he feels great.
  "I'm really excited about the way I feel right now," he said.
"I feel healthy. I feel strong. I'm hopeful that it will hold up
and I expect it to."
  The other comment he made to the AP was one that got me 
excited. He was talking about when he came to N.Y. with 
the Padres last year, even though he was on the d.l.
      "Looking up at the stadium, the energy in the park,
I thought to myself this would be a lot of fun to play here." 

  I always want guys who say they look forward to playing
in  N.Y. and don't seem overwhelmed by the experience. 
  His move from Texas to San Diego after the '05 season
produced the results one would want to see: lower ERA, 
lower whip, better k/9 ratio. He's not a big strikeout
guy so Citi Field should provide him support with it's size. 
Pitching in similar Petco Park he has a career .205 batting 
average against, and a respectable .247 baa on balls in play. 
But what the Mets need most of all from Chris Young is for him to 
earn that $3.4 million. In the last two seasons they've only had two
starters make 31 starts and pitch 180 innings, both times by Mike Pelfrey. 
 With Johan Santana out for a few months, with Pelfrey and Niese
still learning their craft, with R.A. Dickey being a knuckleballer and
with Young and Capuano recovering from health issues, the Mets 
staff is one big question mark. It would be nice to see Young 
emerge as a guy the Mets can depend on. 
For a million bucks, it's worth a shot. History says it's a long shot. 


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