The Padres hit a well-chronicled skid at the end of August and carried that bad momentum into early September. On top of that, they’re having to be overly protective of some of their young arms.
It has created a tense situation at the top of the National League West standings and the Padres are currently clinging to a mere one-game lead over the Giants.
Now for the good news: a reinforcement may be on the way.
According to Corey Brock of MLB.com, right-hander Chris Young threw 5.2 shutout innings on Saturday night at Single-A Lake Elsinore and is “clearly ready” to return to the big leagues. Young tossed 3.1 scoreless in his first rehab start last week.
The 31-year-old out of Princeton University has registered only one big-league outing this season and made only 14 appearances in 2009 to some rather shoddy results, but it wasn’t long ago that Young was the ace of the Padres’ staff.
In 2008, Young turned in a 3.96 ERA and 1.29 WHIP over 18 starts. He struck out 93 batters in a little over 102 innings. In 2007, Young had a career-best 3.12 ERA and 1.10 WHIP over 30 starts and tallied 167 strikeouts in 173 innings.
If he can get anywhere near that kind of form, the Padres will be in pretty good shape down the stretch and Mat Latos might be able to find some extra rest.