Young trying to curb running game

Young trying to curb running game

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- At 6-foot-10, any delivery Chris Young concocts can only be so short.

Even so, the Padres' right-hander is working hard this spring on slowing opponents' running game. Last year, Young was 9-8 with a 3.12 ERA, but 44 bases were stolen in as many attempts against him. Wednesday, though, the Giants did not steal a base, nor attempt to.

"I sat down with [manager Bud] Black early in Spring Training and I asked [pitching coach Darren Balsley] to pay attention in my bullpens," Young said. "I think I've been able to be a little quicker to the plate without sacrificing the quality of my pitches."

Bench coach Craig Colbert commended Young for working on holding runners, since he had great success last year despite the stolen bases.

"He's working on it, he really is," Colbert said. "You tip your cap to him on that for the effort."

Young also worked on his changeup Wednesday, and he feels the pitch is coming along.

"I threw a lot of changeups, even got a strikeout on it, so I'm happy," Young said. "I didn't have one put in play, they were all swung at and missed, taken for strikes and one was a foul ball."

Young said it was important to stick to his game plan against a division rival, rather than focusing on getting outs and telegraphing too many of his game tendencies during Spring Training.

Young allowed three runs in four innings, two coming on a home run by Dave Roberts, who has more triples (51) than homers (23) in a nine-year career. Young said he threw a few sliders that "just kind of spun," including one to Roberts' wheelhouse.

Young, incidentally, planned to see Roberts later Wednesday because Roberts, a friend and former teammate, has not yet seen Young's new baby.

"I'm sure he'll be in my ear about [the homer], so I'll have to buzz him during the regular season," Young said jokingly.

Mark Thoma is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.