The Nationals have re-signed veteran right-hander Chris Young to a minor league deal with an invitation to big league spring training, a source confirmed, providing a bit more starting pitching depth within the organization.
Young had trouble staying on the field due to injury last season and got hit hard in his nine starts within the Nats system, going 1-2 with a 6.81 ERA.
In his seven starts at Triple-A Syracuse, Young allowed 50 hits and 28 earned runs in 32 innings of work, striking out 16 and walking 14. Opposing batters hit .352 off Young in those seven starts.
Young signed a minor league deal with the Nats during spring training last year, and he impressed during his spring action, posting a 2.25 ERA in 16 innings. When it became clear he wouldn’t break camp with the Nats, Young opted out of his deal with the team and tried to land a big league job, but couldn’t find any takers.
He re-signed with the Nats in early April.
Young’s velocity was sitting in the mid-80s during spring training last year, and at 34, he might not have much left in the tank. But the 6-foot-10 right-hander’s height allows him to create some deception and throw from an angle not many hitters are used to seeing.
If he’s healthy, he could be an option if the Nats lose a starter to injury or need a spot start.
MLB.com was the first to report the Young signing.
Meanwhile, the Angels announced that they’ve officially hired former Nats hitting coach Rick Eckstein as a “player information coach”.
Eckstein, who was fired by the Nats midway through the 2013 season, will integrate scouting reports with the Angels and have input on the defensive side of things, according to the team.