The Padres reportedly signed free agent right-hander Chris Young to a minor-league deal on Friday, per Dennis Lin of the San Diego Union-Tribune. Young will join Tyson Ross as another potential rotation candidate for the Padres in 2018, though the team has yet to officially announce either signing.
Like Ross, Young had a difficult time finding his footing in 2017. The 38-year-old right-hander completed a three-year track with the Royals, pitching to a 7.50 ERA, 4.2 BB/9 and 6.6 SO/9 through 30 innings. While he steered clear of the disabled list all season, he never proved durable or dominant enough to stick in the Royals’ bullpen on a full-time basis and was released in June after the club inked reliever Neftali Feliz to a one-year contract.
Age and declining strikeout rate aside, Young is only two seasons removed from his last productive year as a starting pitcher, when he went 8-6 with a 3.18 ERA in 18 starts during his first campaign in Kansas City. This will be his first year in San Diego since his five-season gig with the Padres from 2006-2010.
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.