Former Padre Chris Young Wins Comeback Player of the Year


Each year The Sporting News announces winners of various awards during the MLB season. One award that’s unique though, is the Comeback Player of the Year. This is given to someone whose had to comeback from some sort of adversity, whether it be injuries, on the field struggles or anything else. This year’s winners were Miami Marlins third baseman Casey McGehee and Seattle Mariners RHP Chris Young

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The name Chris Young should ring a bell for most fans, as he spent 5 seasons and made his lone All-Star appearance here in San Diego. Young was traded to the Padres before the start of the 2006 season from the Rangers along with Termel Sledge and Adrian Gonzalez. While Gonzalez ended up being the true prize of the trade, Young was a solid contributor as well. In 2006 he led the Padres’ staff in ERA and WHIP while being a win shy of Woody Williams, the team leader in wins, helping the Padres in their most recent playoff berth. He also tossed 6 2/3 shutout innings against the Cardinals in the team’s lone win in the NLDS.

He would follow up that successful campaign with yet another strong performance and a trip to the All Star Game. Unfortunately after that, he’d only make 36 more starts in San Diego in his final 3 years with mixed results.

He would then spend a couple years with the Mets and in 2013 he pitched with the Nationals Triple-A affiliate, the Syracuse Chiefs, for the majority of the year. Then he decided to sign with Seattle after being cut by the Nationals in Spring Training. There he had his best season since 2007 posting a 3.65 ERA to go along with a 12-9 record in 29 starts. His terrific performance created a vaunted trio with Felix Hernandez, Hisashi Iwakuma and himself that was almost able to carry the Mariners’ struggling offense to the playoffs.

It’s good to see a former Padre like Young succeeding after his tough stretch of injuries that nearly derailed his career. I’d love to see him comeback to San Diego especially after the year he’s had, but I think there’s more than enough pitching here at the moment. Regardless, congratulations to Young on his great season and the comeback player of the year award.