Detroit Tigers: Chris Young Could Fill the #4 Pitching Spot


The Detroit Tigers are all too familiar with right-handed pitcher Chris Young. In 2015, the 36-year old right-handed pitcher dominated the Tigers every time they faced him on the mound. Now that the Tigers have filled the number two spot with Jordan Zimmermann, they need to fill that last spot. Chris Young could fill the fourth spot at a low price.

Oct 20, 2015; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Kansas City Royals starting pitcher Chris Young (32) throws during the game against the Toronto Blue Jays in game four of the ALCS at Rogers Centre. Mandatory Credit: Peter Llewellyn-USA TODAY Sports

Young just finished a successful year throwing for the Kansas City Royals. At 6’10, he is an impressive sight on the mound with a deceptive fastball and slider. His fastballs averaged 87 mph and the sliders averaged 80 mph. While these are not the fastest speeds, Young’s height and consistent arm slot makes it difficult for batters to determine exactly where the ball will cross the plate. When the Tigers faced him, the team’s combined batting average was .151, with 93 plate appearances, 19 hits (14 singles and 2 doubles), 2 home runs, and 22 strikeouts. Against AL Central rivals in Chicago, the White Sox averaged .200 against Young. Cleveland was not much better with .208. The Minnesota Twins combined for .198. These averages are outstanding, especially for a pitcher who is on the wrong side of 35 years old.

Young might not be Zack Greinke or David Price, but it would be better to have him pitching for the Tigers than pitching against the Tigers. Besides being a successful pitcher, he is a graduate of Princeton University with a degree in politics. He was drafted by the Pittsburgh Pirates and the Sacremento Kings, proving his athletic skills.

During his eleven years as a professional baseball player, he moved up and down through major and minor league teams playing for the New York Mets, San Diego Padres, Seattle Mariners, and Kansas City Royals. In 2007, he was elected to the All-Star Team. In 2013, he did not play because of pressure on his shoulder. He returned to the game in 2014, earning the Comeback Player of the Year Award. As a free agent in 2015, he pitched for the Royals earning a small salary of $675,000.

More from Detroit Tigers News

His small salary and quality pitching would make him an excellent candidate for the fourth spot. As more pitchers move from power pitchers to control pitchers, Young’s ability to place the ball makes his stuff difficult to hit. Most of his pitches result in pop-ups and fly balls, which allows him to keep his pitch counts low.

During Mike Ilitch’s press conference, he mentioned that money will be no object for the 2016 season. The Tigers might be in the market for a pitcher who will demand a higher contract. But, if the Tigers decide to spend money on a left-handed bat, they might need to keep the spending low on their fourth pitcher. Chris Young already knows how to pitch in the World Series; he certainly could help the Tigers get there in 2016.