Make it a clean sweep for Chris Young.
The veteran right-hander’s remarkable return to the big leagues received yet another accolade. On Friday morning, Young was awarded the American League Comeback Player of the Year award from Major League Baseball.
It’s his third such award for his efforts this season. Young earned similar honors from The Sporting News and the MLB Players’ Choice Awards.
“There are many deserving players who have demonstrated the commitment, dedication and perseverance to overcome similar obstacles, and I am humbled to be recognized amongst them,” Young said after winning his first award. “The life lessons I have learned throughout this experience are invaluable and will stay with me the rest of my career. Furthermore, I hope that I can serve as inspiration to other players in the same manner in which I was inspired to pursue my comeback.”
With their starting rotation limited by injuries to Hisashi Iwakuma and Taijuan Walker, the Mariners took a chance on Young, signing him to a one-year contract on the final day of spring training. Young had been released by the Washington Nationals just days before.
Young was much better than anyone on the Mariners could have imagined.
Pitching in the majors for the first time since 2012, he had a solid season for Seattle. Young put together a 12-9 record with a 3.65 earned-run average in 29 starts and one relief appearance.
It was a major turnaround after making just nine minor-league starts in 2013 and then undergoing season-ending shoulder surgery. From 2009 to 2012, Young made just 42 big-league starts, battling shoulder issues as doctors were unable to correct the discomfort.
His 12 victories tied the career high he set in 2005 with Texas. The 165 innings pitched this season were the third-most of his big-league career.
The MLB Comeback Player of the Year award was voted upon by the 30 beat reporters fromMLB.com, one for each team. They selected the winners from an original list of 30 candidates (one per team).
Young, who is a free agent, has expressed interest in returning to Seattle for another season.