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.
Braves 21-year-old outfielder Ronald Acuña Jr. nabbed his 30th stolen base of the season on Friday, becoming the second-youngest player in Major League history to produce at least 30 home runs and 30 stolen bases in a single season. Per MLB Stats, the only other player under 22 years old to pull off the feat is Mike Trout, who did so with 30 home runs and 49 stolen bases during his age-20 season in 2012.
Acuña’s triumphant moment came in the eighth inning of Friday’s game against the Mets. He drew a six-pitch walk against righty reliever Seth Lugo, then waited for an opportune moment as Ozzie Albies stepped to the plate. Lugo fired a 93-m.p.h. fastball to Albies for ball no. 2, which was promptly returned to second base by catcher Wilson Ramos. The throw came in high, however; Amed Rosario had to jump to make the catch, allowing Acuña to slide safely into the bag and hit his career mark.
It’s been an eventful season for the All-Star outfielder, whose 36 home runs and 30 stolen bases helps pad a .294/.377/.536 batting line and 5.1 fWAR over 597 plate appearances. Through the first 11 innings of Friday’s contest, he went 0-for-3 with a pair of walks and a stolen base.