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.