8/31/2014 4:10 P.M. ET
After leaving Nats, Young hits stride in Seattle
By Bill Ladson / MLB.com
SEATTLE -- Right-hander Chris Young started Spring Training with the Nationals, but they released him toward the end of the Grapefruit League season before signing with the Mariners. Young is having a productive season for Seattle, going 12-6 with a 3.17 ERA. He is scheduled to pitch on Monday against the Athletics.
To Young, there is only one reason he is having his best season since 2006. He is healthy. It was June of 2013 when doctors finally figured out why Young was having problems staying healthy. After he went on the disabled list at Triple-A Syracuse, Nationals medical director Wiemi Douoguih and the Syracuse medical staff believed Young did not have a shoulder problem after all. They had Young go to a neck specialist in St. Louis, and it was revealed he had thoracic outlet syndrome.
Young laughed with relief when the doctor went over the symptoms that he had. He had a pinched nerve in his neck, and that injury would cause pain in his shoulder. He would have surgery in his neck to fix the problem. He is now aggressive with his fastball and mixes in his breaking ball.
"I'm just healthy, that's it," Young said. "When I'm healthy, I have a pretty good track record. I had surgery for thoracic outlet syndrome. Since then, I've felt good, been healthy and have been able to take the ball."
Young said he appreciates the opportunity the Nationals gave him to showcase his talent during Spring Training.
"I met a lot of great people over there. I had a great experience. I think highly of the people on the other the side," Young said.
Young now finds himself in the in the middle of the Wild Card race. The Mariners entered Sunday 1 1/2 games behind the Royals and Tigers for the final Wild Card spot. Talking to Young, it's obvious he is enjoying his time in Seattle.
"They are a great group of guys," Young said. "The guys in here -- coaching staff, front office and players -- it's a great organization. I've had a tremendous experience here. The chemistry is as good as anywhere I've played. I think it keeps everybody in check. We go out and play the game the right way. We play hard and the talent kind of takes over."
Werth: Sept. most important month of career
SEATTLE -- Earlier this season, Nationals outfielder Jayson Werth said it was an honor to be hitting third in the lineup. But on Sunday, Werth declined to evaluate his performance this season because the team has another month to go.
In fact, Werth went so far as to say the final month is the most important of his career. Here is a player who has been to the World Series twice, winning one with the Phillies in 2008. What he went through with the Phillies is in the past, however. He wants another World Series ring.
"I like the way we are playing. I like the way we are going about it. I like our team, but we have a long way to go," Werth said. "It's no secret I want to win another championship. I want another ring. Those were my intentions when I came here. In order for that to happen, we have to play well, I have to play well.
"We have a hard long road ahead of us. I like where we are at. I like the way we are playing. I like how I'm feeling physically. I think we are in a good place as a team. So I like the direction where we are headed. We have a long road ahead."
Bill Ladson is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, All Nats All the time. He also could be found on Twitter @WashingNats. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.