Chris Young Back to DL

The Mets have placed Chris Young on the 15-day disabled list, due to an as-yet unidentified problem with his right shoulder. Pat Misch has been recalled from AAA Buffalo to take Young’s place on the 25-man roster. Additionally, Johan Santana has been placed on the 60-day DL to make room for Misch on the 40-man roster.

Young had trouble “loosening up” prior to Saturday night’s game against the Dodgers. According to ESPN-NY:

Young was not able to make his start on Saturday because he felt tightness in the shoulder while long-tossing in the outfield before the game.

Young, who signed with the Mets as a free-agent in the offseason, received two anti-inflammatory injections during the week. He underwent an MRI on Sunday morning at the Hospital of Special Surgery in Manhattan to determine the extent of the injury.

I’m curious to know who prescribed “long-tossing in the outfield” and what its purpose is in regard to keeping Young’s arm healthy. If it is the kind of long-tossing I normally see done by ballplayers at every level — the style where one heaves back and throws the ball high and long with an arc (sort of like a rainbow) — then it’s unlikely to do anything other than agitate Young’s already damaged shoulder. Additionally, long-tossing puts considerable stress on the elbow.

There is a use for long-distance throwing (I like to term it that to differentiate from “long toss”) for pitchers, but it is generally for teaching purposes. For example, I may use it to teach a kid how to feel and understand momentum, or to teach a good follow-through. But, there are a few rules with long-distance throwing: 1) the pitcher must keep the same mechanics and release point he uses from 60 feet; 2) the ball must travel on a line, with no arc; 3) the distance shouldn’t extend far beyond 100-150 feet.

Why not “long toss”? Because it doesn’t do anything for a pitcher. When you heave the ball and throw with a high arc, you are completely changing your mechanics and release point, and in turn, starting to use muscles differently from how you would use them from 60 feet. So although you may be able to condition your muscles and ligaments to heave a ball, say, 250-300 feet, that conditioning isn’t going to help a whole lot when you go back down to 60. If there is any advantage gained by conditioning your muscles to throw the ball that high and far, it is negated by the stress put on the ligaments — particularly those in the elbow.

Anyway, back to Young. Though he pitched well against the Phillies, to me he seemed to have negative body language — so perhaps he was in pain. I noticed the same thing in his start vs. the Nationals. Now it makes sense; he probably WAS in pain. Otherwise, why the need for two cortisone shots in a week’s time?

Young had an MRI taken of his shoulder today, so we’ll find out soon enough the extent of damage. It won’t surprise me to see a labrum tear, but let’s hope it didn’t get that far. With a little luck, some rest, and a mechanical adjustment or two, Young might be able to get back on the mound at some point this season.

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Joe Janish began MetsToday in 2005 to provide the unique perspective of a high-level player and coach -- he earned NCAA D-1 All-American honors as a catcher and coached several players who went on to play pro ball. As a result his posts often include mechanical evaluations, scout-like analysis, and opinions that go beyond the numbers. Follow Joe's baseball tips on Twitter at @onbaseball and at the On Baseball Google Plus page.
  1. gary s. May 8, 2011 at 7:08 pm
    Chris Young, we hardly knew yee.Another wasted signing by Alderson.And this is the person who we trust to trade reyes for prospects?
    • Joe May 9, 2011 at 6:57 am
      He was a cheap signing with the hope they’d get something out of him. Might still be able to get a few more starts out of him. Low risk, low reward … no big deal.
      • FrankTaveras May 9, 2011 at 9:35 am
        No big deal except the backup plan for that “low risk” is ….. ?

        Oh, right, DJ Carrasco — who couldn’t even cut it as a long reliever.

        Where’s Brian Lawrence, Dave Williams, and Alay Soler when you need them?

        • Joe May 9, 2011 at 11:04 am
          Gee was your main back-up. Boof Bonser got hurt. DJ Carrasco was probably not intended to be a back-up full time starter. Misch is another back-up. As is the hope Santana might be back by the Summer. I assume someone like Meija or whatever is also in the mix.

          The team is not doing anything this year. We are talking back-end starters. This is not really a big deal.

        • Joe May 9, 2011 at 12:08 pm
          Well, WAS in the mix before being hurt. Parnell is another spot starter type. These are not great options, but fourth or fifth starters tend not to be great anyway.
  2. Walnutz15 May 8, 2011 at 7:45 pm
    As we all pretty much figured: Crash and burn.
  3. Midwestern Met May 8, 2011 at 10:20 pm
    It’s a shame cause whenever he’s played he’s been the closest thing we’ve got to an ace till Johan gets back.
    • Izzy May 9, 2011 at 7:46 am
      Except he naever plays. Even the rare season he pitched “a lot” the Pads babied him. It was a very poor decision. And to make matters worse Alderson/Collins were willing to screw a kid like Gee up to keep this failure in the rotation. Luckiest guy in the org is Gee because the new regime can’t ruin him fuirther with their stupid games to placate guys they signed and are going too far to try to make themselves look like geniuses.
    • Izzy May 9, 2011 at 7:50 am
      Except he never plays, its an entire career history being ignored. Its Imar ignoring Moises’ history. They all think they know more than the other GMS. Even the rare season he pitched “a lot” the Pads babied him. It was a very poor decision. And to make matters worse Alderson/Collins were willing to screw a kid like Gee up to keep this failure in the rotation. Luckiest guy in the org is Gee because the new regime can’t ruin him fuirther with their stupid games to placate guys they signed and are going too far to try to make themselves look like geniuses.
    • Roland Agni May 9, 2011 at 1:23 pm
      Till WHO gets back? If you mean Johan Santana, don’t hold your breath.
      • Joe May 9, 2011 at 6:59 pm
        Any hope that he will be traded by a team who will look to use him next year?
  4. Walnutz15 May 9, 2011 at 8:51 pm
    Operation “Crash & Burn” complete. Young’s out for the season with a torn capsule.
  5. Peter May 20, 2011 at 12:16 pm
    it makes absolute sense to use long toss as a tool to loosen up, stretch ligaments and build up overall arm strength. By limiting workouts to those that emulate game conditions only, (throwing straight line) you risk hastening repetitive motion injuries. As long as a pitcher still has side sessions and works mechanics with his coach from the mound, throwing long from a flat surface should not harm him.