clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

ALCS Game #4 Preview: Royals @ Blue Jays

New, 38 comments
Marilyn Indahl-USA TODAY Sports

After smoking Johnny Cueto like a rack of Kansas City ribs, the Blue Jays will try to do the same to Chris Young this afternoon at 4:07. A rare weakness in this 2015 Royals pitching staff is the so-called fourth starter, which they seem to have lacked pretty much all season. Young got the nod for today's game over Kris Medlen, who pitched well last night, and will take the hill at the Rogers Centre against fellow teammate and current friend R.A. Dickey.

Young has had a long winding career path and at 36 years of age, can safely be categorized as a journeyman starting pitcher. Originally drafted by the Pirates out of Princeton, Young made his major league debut with Texas in 2004 and had his first full MLB season in 2005, where he accumulated an impressive 3.4 WAR. Standing at 6'10", Young became the second-tallest player in the league aside from monster and former Jays reliever Jon Rauch. In the offseason prior to '06, Young was traded to the Padres where he pitched for five years greatly benefiting from the dimensions of Petco Park. As a fly ball pitcher Young had some good seasons in the spacious San Diego ballpark including an All-Star appearance in 2007, which happened to be his career-best season (4.3 fWAR).

The injuries began in 2008 and kept him from reaching the 20-game mark for four consecutive years, including one of seasons coming with the Mets. The following year in 2012 he was able to make a bit of a career resurgence at Citi Field with New York before signing with the Nationals for the next season. Injuries eliminated this time in Washington completely and he eventually came back with a new team, the Mariners, for the 2014 campaign. A .238 BABIP hid his true performance and an ERA of 3.65 was what was left to show of Young's perceived 'great' season. The 'solid' year got the righty a deal with Kansas City for 2015 in a long relief role.

After a good April, Young was put in the rotation where he excelled for the better part of three months. After the trade deadline, Young was put back into the bullpen until his final two appearances of the season. Now the deceptive righty finds himself in a huge postseason game in front of one of the most powerful offences in all of baseball. He does have a bit of experience in these playoffs though, as he was the guy who replaced Yordano Ventura after the rain delay in Game 1 of the ALDS.

A 3.06 ERA with the Royals this year has once again been helped by an extremely low BABIP (.209) and a 7.7% HR/FB rate. The righty throws a fastball in the 87 mph area about 60% of the time along with a slider the other 40%. It's actually pretty amazing such a simple pitch mix has led to so much success for Young as the Ivy Leaguer has relied on his smarts and deceptiveness to get him through games rather than pure stuff. If the Blue Jays are able to lay off his slider out of the zone, then they should have good success hitting his rather pedestrian fastball.

How's he do it?!

Probable Lineup

Justin Smoak would probably have a small chance at starting this game if it wasn't for his blunder last night.

  1. Ben Revere LF
  2. Josh Donaldson 3B
  3. Jose Bautista RF
  4. Edwin Encarnacion DH
  5. Chris Colabello 1B
  6. Troy Tulowitzki SS
  7. Russell Martin C
  8. Kevin Pillar CF
  9. Ryan Goins 2B
The bullpen was (unnecessarily) taxed last night, so you would hope that R.A. Dickey goes deep into today's game. If Ryan Tepera and LaTroy Hawkins cannot be trusted with an 11-4 ball game, then you might as well not even have them on the roster. Munenori Kawasaki doing fake base stealing all day long would be more useful than having guys sit around in the bullpen with no role.

Find the Link

Find the link between Chris Young and Kyle Kendricks in regards to this day.