It is time to end the Chris Young era in New York

Tuesday night the Mets scored more runs (9) than they had in their previous five games (8). They pounded out 14 hits, including multi-hit games from five of their first six hitters in the lineup. They had two homers and came back from 4-1 and 5-4 deficits. They also received 5.2 scoreless innings from their bullpen. They beat the hated Phillies, bringing their record against Philadelphia to 9-4 for the season.

This seemed like a game from the first half of the season, not one of the depressing outings that have been far too frequent here in the second half. I feel like a heel for not being more optimistic during a three-game winning streak but the biggest take away for me from last night’s game is that Chris Young should not throw another pitch for the Mets.

Young allowed 5 ER in 4.1 IP last night. In his last 10 games he has a 5.37 ERA, having allowed 33 ER in his last 55.1 IP. He now has a 4.64 ERA for the season and his xFIP checks in at 5.55, the worst mark in baseball among pitchers who have thrown at least 70 innings.

Fortunately for Young, the Mets battled back to get him a no-decision in yesterday’s game. Otherwise his awful performance would have been the story of the night. If you were trying to explain baseball to someone and wanted an example of what *not* to do with a pitch, Young’s 87 mph fastball, belt high in the middle of the plate to Chase Utley would make a perfect instructional gif.

When the Mets needed a boost in June, Young came up big, as he posted a 3.30 ERA in five starts that month. We should acknowledge the role he played in the Mets’ strong play the first half of the season. But it’s the second half of the year now, Young has been terrible, he’s unlikely to be back in 2013 and with rosters expanding, the Mets should replace him in the rotation with someone who can contribute next year.

For September, the Mets have Dickey, Niese, Harvey, Hefner and McHugh. If they want to stick with a six-man rotation for Niese’s sake, they can promote Jenrry Mejia, show him they are serious about him being a starter and let him get some starts under his belt in the majors. Despite getting knocked around in his last outing, Mejia has a 1.94 ERA in nine games as a starter this year in the minors.

It made sense for the Mets to re-sign Young last year for rotational depth. But it is unlikely that same urgency will be around next year. In addition to the six pitchers mentioned above, the Mets will also have Gee and Santana and no one will be surprised if Zack Wheeler gets a mid-year promotion in 2013 like Harvey did this year. That’s enough depth.

Besides, it made sense for Young to re-sign with the Mets this season because he was recovering from injury and this way he was able to stay with the doctors and program under which he started his rehab. This year Young has been healthy and he figures to want an MLB slot right from Opening Day.

It all adds up to Young being elsewhere in 2013. A starter throughout his career, it makes little sense to stick him in the pen the final month of the season, especially coming off his shoulder woes.

The Mets should fabricate an injury for Young and let him go home. He gave the team 85.1 IP this year, the most he has pitched since 2008. It was a mutually beneficial relationship for Young and the Mets in 2012. The pitcher was able to complete his rehab and proved he could get MLB batters out. The club got much-needed innings in the middle of the season and a quality individual for the clubhouse.

Yet nothing lasts forever and it is time for the two to part ways. Mets fans should be grateful for what Young gave the club in 2012. We should hope he finds numerous clubs willing to sign him for 2013 and that he comes away with a nice fat contract. Finally, the Mets have better options right now for starting pitching and we should hope he never throws another pitch for the Mets in his career.

14 comments for “It is time to end the Chris Young era in New York

  1. August 29, 2012 at 11:08 am

    Agreed, Brian. It is what my bride and I both said in the first inning yesterday.

  2. David Groveman
    August 29, 2012 at 11:55 am

    I don’t know if Mejia is all that ready to win right away in the majors. He still has his bumpy innings and I would say needs half a season as a starter in AAA before he’s in serious contention for a promotion.

    • August 29, 2012 at 12:22 pm

      If Young is removed from the rotation, it’s questionable if they keep the six-man rotation, since one of its main benefits was to give extra rest to the two guys coming off shoulder surgery. And neither of them would be around anymore.

      But if they decide they want to do it for Niese’s sake — then I have no problem with Mejia getting a handful of starts in September. He’s already on the 40-man, he’s already been in the majors and he needs extra innings as a starting pitcher. I doubt he’d be seriously worse than Young has been over his last 10 and getting him 25 innings or so the rest of the season is a worthwhile goal.

      • Mack Ade
        August 29, 2012 at 1:31 pm

        I agree that the ‘era’ is over, but abrupt endings send the wrong signs to the other players in the clubhouse. This team has a bad enough reputation with the players.

        My rotation would start off September with Harvey,Dickey, Niese, Hefner, Mejia, and McHugh, with Young as long man.. I’ve re-evaluate shutting down Harvey around the 15th and Dickey as soon as he wins his 20th

  3. August 29, 2012 at 12:24 pm

    Would you prefer Young or Pelfrey as your No. 5 guy?
    I assume one of them will come back, even if it’s just for depth.

    • August 29, 2012 at 12:29 pm

      In alphabetical order, we have: Dickey, Gee, Harvey, Niese and Santana as the projected five-man rotation for 2013. That leaves Familia, Hefner, McHugh, Mejia, Schwinden and Wheeler around for depth at various points of the 2013 season. Now, I imagine a few of those will be traded in the offseason and having a veteran for depth will be a good thing.

      But Young will not need minor league rehab time like he did this season – he should be ready for Spring Training and looking for a job in the majors on Opening Day. I just don’t see a fit with the Mets. If Pelfrey is willing to sign a contract in the range that Young did, perhaps he comes back to fill the role Young did this year – rehab in the minors and then wait for injury/ineffectiveness to get back to the majors.

      Edit: I didn’t answer your question – I would prefer Pelfrey.

  4. boldib
    August 29, 2012 at 1:05 pm

    I can see him in long relief but I wonder if he’d accept that role.

    I’d add that in the 2 starts prior to yesterday he gave up 2 earned runs in 12 2/3 innings with 13 Ks – not too shabby. Go back 3 starts and it starts to get ugly again. Then 4 back and it’s very good. Big problem with the long ball. Kills him when he’s off.

  5. Metsense
    August 29, 2012 at 1:28 pm

    It is definately time to go to the Dickey/Niese/Harvey/Heffner/McHugh/Mejia rotation with Dickey going every 5th day. Chris Young should be the long man out of the bullpen and get some innings in September. It is too harsh to just send him home. If he were just picked up on waivers I would let him go. I also don’t see him in the 2013 plans. I agree with the Mejia and Pelfry analysis in your responses Brian.

  6. Chris F
    August 29, 2012 at 3:09 pm

    I couldnt agree more. I dont want to see him pitching again. The length of his quality pitching gets shorter and shorter. At the most he was good for 18 outs. Its now down to what, 9 or less? We have pitching to get us through. He has done his job and it is now over.The reality is we have two guys recovering from ACS and both reached their serviceable limits for the year after rehab. That hes made it to September is remarkable in its own right.

    I never want to see Pelf in a Mets jersey again. Neither he nor Young is needed as a 5th or 6th.

    • Mack Ade
      August 29, 2012 at 6:42 pm

      Chris:

      One thing about Mike.

      You will never meet a nicer person on earth, nor a bigger fan of the Mets winning a championship.

      • Chris F
        August 29, 2012 at 7:18 pm

        Interesting. I’ve not had a chance to meet him. I think one thing that’s hard for the average fan (myself included) that has limited or no personal player contact is that we never really get that part of it. I think it’s awesome to have players as believers and champions of the cause, and it’s even better when that player can deliver the goods to turn the dream into reality. I don’t see that in Big Mike, but it doesn’t mean I personally have an issue.

        I did have a nice talk with TC last year at a Braves game. He was genuine, caring, excited and generous even on game day. It was a thrill to talk with him and get some personal connection beyond just seeing him as the skipper. Super nice person.

  7. Willis
    August 30, 2012 at 2:53 pm

    From a player development perspective (Mejia, McHugh) it’s a no brainer. But Mack makes a nice point about thd team’s rep with future free agents. But I’m not sure they wouldn’t be doing Young a favor by shutting him down.

    Young looks like a batting practice pitcher on the best of days. Lately it’s been ugly and unproductive.

    • Mack Ade
      August 30, 2012 at 3:28 pm

      Young is a “pitch every 5 days” pitcher. The new Mets rotation has totally screwed up his routine.

      • Willis
        August 31, 2012 at 6:03 pm

        And that is the reason he’s been terrible lately? As in proximate cause. That’s a reach.

        And anyway, if the Mets feel it helps Harvey and Niese to go to six man rotation then upsetting Chrus Young’s routine is incidental.

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