Sore shoulder has Young frustrated
Padres right-hander awaiting results from an MRI
SAN DIEGO -- Padres pitcher Chris Young's surgically repaired right shoulder continues to give him fits, and now, after a setback during a rehabilitation stint Sunday, it appears as if it will be a while until he pitches again.
Young struggled with his command and velocity in a 35-pitch outing with the Double-A San Antonio Missions on Sunday, and according to sources, his velocity ran between 81-84 mph, well below normal.
On Monday, Young had an MRI with contrast to enhance the scan. The results were not available as of Tuesday afternoon. The MRI is being sent to noted orthopedic surgeon James Andrews for evaluation.
Young is set to have a traditional MRI on Thursday or Friday as the team attempts to determine what is wrong with his shoulder.
At this point, no one is sure.
"I want answers," Young said. "I had this cleaned up last August. Why am I having trouble now? It's extremely frustrating. All the time and effort and sweat I put back into getting healthy ..."
Young had his 2009 season cut short because of arthroscopic debridement surgery that removed loose fragments in his shoulder in August. Young's rehabilitation program, by his own admission, was smooth and without setback, including his time in Spring Training.
Young tossed six scoreless innings in his first and only start of the season on April 6 at Arizona and complained of soreness in the shoulder the following day. The right-hander was later placed on the 15-day disabled list, retroactive to April 7.
Young was encouraged by how he felt after a simulated bullpen session in Cincinnati on April 23. He threw around 75 pitches and felt good about his command. He was set for a Minor League rehabilitation start the following week, but it was scratched because he felt some soreness in his shoulder.
Finally, last week, Young felt good enough to make a start with Double-A San Antonio. He allowed five earned runs and four walks in two-thirds of an inning. He returned to San Diego on Monday to have an MRI.
"I didn't feel pain during the start, but my stuff wasn't where it should be," said Young, who said the pain he's feeling now isn't in one specific spot and that it moves around.
"Velocity, life, crispness, sharpness on the breaking ball ... it's not what it should be or what it was this spring."
Like Young, Padres manager Bud Black didn't have a lot of answers to offer on Tuesday.
"Chris is sore. It was not normal soreness," Black said. "He's going to rest until he can get a handle on the shoulder. We haven't been able to get a handle on what's going on. Time will give us a better indicator of where we're headed."
LeBlanc picking off runners at high rate
SAN DIEGO -- Just because Padres starter Wade LeBlanc leads the Major Leagues with five pickoffs doesn't mean the left-hander has an especially deceiving move.
In fact, LeBlanc, who got the start Tuesday against the Rockies, said that his move is not anything special.
"It's not ... it's not a crazy move or anything like that," said LeBlanc. "[Teammate] Clayton Richard has a really good move. It's more good timing on the part of [bench coach Ted Simmons] and [manager Bud Black] calling for them.
"And sometimes baserunners' aggressiveness works against them, where they're going on my first movement. That's basically all it is. It's nothing crazy."
Since being recalled on April 18 when pitcher Chris Young went on the disabled list with a strained shoulder, LeBlanc has picked off five baserunners -- four at first base and one at second base.
The Padres entered Tuesday's game with the most pickoffs (nine) in the Major Leagues.
LeBlanc's five pickoffs are the most for any Padres pitcher in an entire season since left-hander Sterling Hitchcock had five in 1997.
LeBlanc said he would like to improve his pickoff move to get to the point where Richard -- who has two pickoffs -- is with his deceptive most to first base.
"I work on pickoffs," LeBlanc said. "It's not like I'm OK with a bad pickoff. When a runner gets on first, I would rather hold the ball and keep him close rather than balking and letting him to go second base. It's more of a fear of balking than not working on a good move.
"I need to get to the point where I can feel comfortable toeing that line, because that can definitely get you some quick outs and keep runners close."
Encinitas woman chosen as honorary bat girl
SAN DIEGO -- Patricia A. St. John of Encinitas, Calif., has been selected as the Padres entry for the Major League Baseball and Susan G. Komen Honorary Bat Girl Contest.
She will be the bat girl for a May 16 game at PETCO Park since the Padres are out of town on Mother's Day.
St. John was selected by a panel of judges and more than four million fan votes on MLB.com in appreciation of their inspiration in coping with breast cancer and commitment to the cause.
The program, now in its second year, was developed to raise additional awareness and support for the annual Going to Bat Against Breast Cancer initiative, a joint partnership between MLB, its licensed partners and Komen.
Corey Brock is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.