San Diego Padres starting pitcher Chris Young throws the ball on the team's first day of baseball spring training for pitchers and catchers, Friday, Feb. 19, 2010, in Peoria, Ariz. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)
PEORIA, Ariz. (AP) - Right-hander Chris Young says he felt good after participating in a bullpen session during the team's first workout on Friday morning.
Young, who had arthroscopic shoulder surgery on Aug. 17, says he spent all offseason strengthening his right arm and shoulder in order to be ready for spring training. He threw 40 pitches in 10 minutes.
Young was 4-6 with a 5.21 ERA in 14 starts last season and hasn't pitched since leaving early from a June 14 game against the Los Angeles Angels.
"It was a standard first day," Young said with a laugh. "Everybody was healthy. Nobody got lost. I think it's a good day.
"Being ready was the goal. The (doctors) had kind of gone over the rehab timetable and that was the goal. But you never know, one what they'd find once they got in there, or if you'd ever have any setbacks during the rehab. Fortunately I haven't had any."
Young began his rehab in November. Manager Bud Black has constantly been monitoring Young throughout the offseason at Petco Park. Prior to Friday's session, Young had thrown off a mound several times without incident.
"Everything's going well from what he's indicated and what I've seen of his arm is great," Black said. "The way the shoulder is working, his arm stroke, it's fluid, it's loose. It doesn't look like there's any tentativeness when he's throwing the ball. Physically he's in a very good spot.
"The doctors felt he'd be ready to do the work a healthy pitcher would do."
Young said he began strengthening his shoulder 8-to-12 weeks earlier than normal this offseason. With the shoulder strong, Young hasn't shied away from throwing any of his pitches during bullpen sessions.
Young is 46-34 with a 3.87 ERA in 131 career starts, has been hit hard by injuries the past two seasons.
In May 2008, Young was struck in the face by a line drive off the bat of St. Louis' Albert Pujols. He missed more than two months with a fractured skull, a broken orbital bone, a broken nose and a deviated septum. After undergoing a series of surgeries, Young returned to the mound in late July only to be placed on the disabled list two weeks later with a strained right forearm.
Young reported feeling healthy to begin the 2009 season but he made only 14 starts before going on the DL with a strained right shoulder. After two months of treatments proved ineffective, Young underwent surgery. But doctors didn't find any significant structural damage.
"I feel like the arm injury fortunately wasn't more serious but it's something that long term is going to benefit me," Young said. "I think it was a wear-and-tear injury that accumulated over time and finally it just couldn't take any more. Hopefully that's been corrected. I feel strong and healthy."