Young’s first season back was a success, but might not fit with the Mets in 2013

In last night’s 2-0 loss to the Braves, Chris Young allowed two runs and seven hits with one walk and six strikeouts in six innings.

“All in all, there were some really good things,” Young explained after his final start. “It was a great year, to bounce back. When I decided to have the surgery and rehab, I knew it would be a long process. I knew there would be some bumps in the road. But I really believed that if I dedicated myself to it that I could be a very competitive and successful major league pitcher. My record might not show it, but I feel like I proved that.”

Young took the loss last night, and finished his season with a 4-9 record and a 4.15 ERA over 115 innings in 20 starts in 2012.

The 20 starts and 115 innings are the most since his 2008 season with San Diego.

“I told him after the game was over I was very impressed with the way he went about the whole year,” Terry Collins said about Young. “He said before he wanted to get 20 starts. He got 20. And they were very, very good starts. His record didn’t indicate it, but we didn’t get him a lot of run support. But he did a very good job, and I’m very happy he made it through the year healthy. His last two starts his velocity climbed. His velocity was up 3, 4 mph, which I was very impressed with.”

Michael Baron, Contributor

Like a lot of Mets pitchers in the second half, Young deserved better than what he got last night. He really made two bad pitches the entire night – both to Martin Prado – and both of them played a part in runs scoring against him. Otherwise, he had great command of the upper part of the strike zone and had a tight little slider working for him last night which he was able to throw at the letters and down and away to both lefties and righties. It was one of his better starts of the season, and so it’s good he will finish on a high note with his confidence riding sky high heading into the off-season. He was worked so hard to get to where he is, and the progress, especially as his season went on, was evident simply by his ability to provide more and more length in his last few starts. As long as he can keep his stuff above the belt, he can be an effective and solid back-of-the-rotation arm at this stage of his career.

The question for Young in regards to the Mets is, where does he fit? Assuming the Mets do not trade Jon Niese, the Mets have five starters heading into the season in 2013: Niese, Johan Santana, R.A. Dickey, Matt Harvey, and Dillon Gee. With the uncertainty surrounding Johan Santana, the Mets might want to consider bringing Young back on a one-year commitment, although they do have Zack Wheeler who won’t be long for the Minor Leagues at the start of 2013. Terry Collins recently said Young is not a candidate for the bullpen due to his shoulder issues and how long it takes for him to prepare to pitch, and so he simply might not fit into the Mets plans for next season. I would envision Young getting a big league deal somewhere at this point – he’s proven he can start and be very effective for at least five innings. If he doesn’t return to the Mets, I wish him luck going forward – he is a very nice and intelligent man and, as I said, has worked hard to get back to this point and should feel very accomplished from that standpoint.