Chris Young hopes to return to Padres this season

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Remember Chris Young? He certainly hopes the San Diego Padres do.

Young, the 6-10 right-hander known as much for his injury struggles as his talent, threw 55 pitches over three innings in a simulated game on Thursday.

He is trying to work his way back from a shoulder injury, and says he’s focused on returning this season, not next. From the Associated Press:

“It’s definitely my goal, not just to pitch, but to be successful and win,” said Young, who’s had a serious injury for three straight seasons. “Certainly I’m not trying to get ahead of myself. There’s still some tests, but I wouldn’t be doing it if it wasn’t my goal. It would be easy to shut it down and say I’ll strengthen it and worry about pitching later, but that’s not the case. I want to pitch, I want to win, I want to help this team make a strong run here. I feel if things keep going according to plan, I’m capable of that.”

Young has made just one start this season, pitching six scoreless innings against the Diamondbacks back on April 6. Over the last three seasons, he has made only 33 starts as he has struggled to stay healthy.

When able to pitch, Young – who was an All-Star in 2007 – is a solid talent (47-34, 3.84 ERA, 1.209 WHIP over his career).

The Padres, who would have homefield advantage throughout the playoffs if the season ended today, are already ruling the NL on the strength of their pitching and defense. They lead the league in ERA, WHIP and hits allowed, are second in strikeout/walk ration and third in strikeouts.

If Young were to return this season, the guess here is that Kevin Correia would lose his spot in the rotation, though the team could also opt to curb the workload on 22-year-old Mat Latos, who has thrown 142 of his career 193 innings this season.

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Clayton Kershaw struggles with control, walks six Marlins

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Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw entered Wednesday night’s start against the Marlins without having issued a walk in his previous three starts. In fact, his last walk came on April 3 when he issued a free pass to Paul Goldschmidt with the bases empty and two outs in the bottom of the first inning. All told, Kershaw was on a streak of 26 walk-less innings before he took the mound at home to take on the Marlins.

Kershaw started off Wednesday in character, striking out the side in the first inning. He issued a walk in a tough second inning, but escaped without allowing a run. Kershaw walked two more in the third and again danced out of danger. In the fourth, Kershaw walked Lewis Brinson to load the bases with no outs and — you guessed it — didn’t end up allowing a run. His errant control finally came back to bite him in the fifth when Kershaw issued back-to-back two-out walks, then served up a three-run home run to Miguel Rojas down the left field line. His night was done when he completed the inning. Five innings, three runs, five hits, six walks, seven strikeouts, 112 pitches.

The six walks Kershaw issued over five innings marked his first six-walk outing since April 7, 2010 when he issued six free passes to the Pirates in 4 2/3 innings. The only other time he walked as many was on August 3, 2009 against the Brewers in a four-plus inning outing. Kershaw hasn’t even walked five batters in an outing recently — the last time was September 23, 2012 against the Reds.