Chris Young proved he’s recovered from thoracic outlet surgery this spring by posting a respectable 3.48 ERA and 1.16 WHIP in four Grapefruit League appearances for the Nationals. But there’s no spot for him on Washington’s major league roster and so he was let go in a round of cuts Tuesday in camp.
Young did not pitch at the big league level in 2013, but he was decent for the Mets in 2012 and would make for solid emergency rotation depth for a number of clubs. He joins Freddy Garcia, Scott Baker, and Erik Bedard on the secondary starting pitching market. Also, the Mariners just released veteran left-hander Randy Wolf, according to MLB.com’s Greg Johns.
According to Chris Cotillo of MLB Daily Dish, the Mariners granted Scott Baker his release today. Ryan Divish of the Seattle Times reports that he asked for his release after declining an assignment to Triple-A.
Signed to a minor league deal over the winter, Baker appeared to have a rotation spot to lose after Hisashi Iwakuma went down with a finger injury and Taijuan Walker fell behind due to a sore shoulder, but he pitched himself out of consideration with an awful spring. The 32-year-old allowed 12 runs (nine earned) in just 12 Cactus League innings. He struck out just one batter and allowed 16 hits and seven walks. He also hit three batters in a row in one of his starts. Put it all together and you have a ghastly 1.92 WHIP.
Baker has three major league starts to his name since 2011, but he shouldn’t be long before he gets an opportunity elsewhere. As for the Mariners, they will now likely go into the season with a rotation of Felix Hernandez, James Paxton, Erasmo Ramirez, Randy Wolf, and Roenis Elias.
Randy Wolf is attempting a comeback at age 37 after missing all of last season and it’ll be with the Mariners, as Ryan Divish of the Seattle Times reports that he’s agreed to a minor-league contract that includes an invitation to spring training.
Wolf hasn’t pitched since September of 2012 because of Tommy John elbow surgery and posted a 5.68 ERA that season before going under the knife, but after a 14-year career spent as a starter he’s apparently willing to shift to the bullpen.
Wolf hasn’t had particularly extreme platoon splits for a left-handed pitcher and struggled to crack 90 miles per hour even before the surgery, but certainly a relief workload would give him a better chance to stick around for another season or two.
Fox’s Ken Rosenthal reports that Randy Wolf auditioned for eight teams last week.
I love the use of the word “auditioned.” It makes me think of “X-Factor” or “American Idol” or something. After Wolf throws, a GM and an ex-player, sitting at a table with product placement-festooned cups rip him to shreds. One other guy — maybe a play-by-play guy — says he loved him and to keep his chin up. Wolf looks uncomfortable taking both the the insults and the praise, and later, when a camera is on him alone, he says defiant things about how everyone will be sorry one day for doubting his talent.
For what it’s worth, Rosenthal says that Wolf — who posted a 5.68 ERA in 158 innings for the Brewers and Orioles in 2012 — threw between 87-89 m.p.h. but his curve looked good and he’s getting offers already.