Mariners to stick with struggling Chris Young in rotation

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Chris Young has struggled over his last two starts, which has led to some conversation about him potentially being pulled from the Mariners’ starting rotation, but manager Lloyd McClendon told Bob Dutton of the Tacoma News Tribune earlier today that the veteran right-hander will take his next scheduled turn Saturday against the Rangers.

With a 3.46 ERA in 151 innings over 26 starts and one relief appearance, Young has been a pleasant surprise for Seattle this season, but the concern is that he could be wearing down with his biggest workload since 2007. He has allowed eight runs on 11 hits and seven walks in 4 1/3 innings over his last two starts. However, McClendon plans to give him at least one more chance.

“The ball came out good,” McClendon said. “He’s healthy. We had a conversation today, and he’s ready to go. It was a combination of what I saw and what we talked about.”

If Young gets knocked around again Saturday, the Mariners have Taijuan Walker and Erasmo Ramirez at the ready as potential replacements.

Yoenis Cespedes blames a lack of golf for his early season slump

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Back during the 2015 playoffs the sorts of New York media types who love to find reasons to criticize players for petty reasons decided to criticize Yoenis Cespedes for playing golf the day of a playoff game. The Mets won the series with the Cubs during which the controversy, such as it was, occurred and it was soon dropped.

It was picked back up again in 2016 when Cespedes, while on the disabled list with a strained quad, was seen playing golf. Despite the fact that everyone involved said that golf did not contribute to his injury and that golf would have no impact on his injured quad, it was deemed “a bad look” by a columnist looking to get some mileage out of bashing Cespedes for having a hobby that probably half of all ballplayers share. They did it when he showed off his fancy cars too, by the way, even though just about every ballplayer has a fancy car or three. When you’re a superstar in New York — especially when you’re one with whom the media is not particularly close for various reasons — you’re going to catch hell for seemingly nothing.

Now there’s a new twist to the Cespedes golf saga. Yoenis himself says that his poor start — he’s hitting .195/.258/.354 and leads the league in strikeouts — is due to . . . not enough golf! From the New York Times:

He gave a possible reason for the poor start this weekend: not playing enough golf, a hobby beloved by many baseball players. And, yes, he is serious.

“In previous seasons, one of the things I did when I wasn’t going well was to play golf,” he said after a game on Friday in which he struck out four times but still drove in the go-ahead run in the 12th inning. “This year, I’m not playing golf.”

The story says Cespedes quit golf last summer because he worried that it was contributing to hamstring problems. He’s thinking about going back to it soon, as he thinks it’ll help his swing. Given that he’ll catch hell either way, he may as well do what he wants.