So far in 2016, Young has sandwiched two very Chris Young-esque starts with two real stinkers, giving up just four runs in 11 innings in the bread starts and 10 runs over 8.2 innings in the meat starts.
Coming off a start in which he gave up just two runs over six innings of work, as well as striking out 10, Young has another chance to re-establish his position as the Royals fourth starter.
Despite the struggles, Young has still struck out more batters than innings pitched (20 to 19.2), even with that being aided by his 10 strikeout performance last week.
Young only threw one inning against the Angels in 2015, but he did make two starts against a much better 2014 squad while he was in the Mariners rotation, giving up just four runs in 12.1 innings, while striking out 12.
Pujols has more at-bats against Young (17) than any other Angel, but has only recorded four hits and one extra-base hit during that span for an average of .235.
Trout has been worse, recording just one hit in six at-bats against Young, which makes sense, given Trout inability to hit pitches up in the zone the last time he faced Young.
Young, as we all know, lives up in the zone.
Opposing Young will be a third-year right-hander in Nick Tropeano, who only has 75.1 Major League innings to his name.
What that means for the Royals is that virtually all of their hitters have never seen Tropeano before.
And when I say virtually all, I mean that Kendrys Morales is the only Royals hitter to see Tropeano, and it was only for two at-bats.
I know about as much about Tropeano as you likely, meaning that I don’t know a whole lot. In fact, until I saw his name on the game preview, I had never heard of him.
After a bit of research, I have concluded that he is a pretty run-of-the-mill Major League starting pitcher.
His main off speed pitches are a slider and a changeup that he mixes up pretty consistently, while also sneaking in a few split-finger fastballs.
If I am not mistaken, this is the first pitcher the Royals have faced this year with a splitter in their arsenal.
I could also be wrong.
Must-See Matchup – Chris Young v. Mike Trout
For those of you who are interested in the deeper scouting aspects of baseball, you understand why this intrigues me. I mentioned it a bit earlier in this slide.
Through 2014, Trout’s Achilles heel was pitches in the upper part of the strike zone, and more specifically, elevated fastballs.
However, he adjusted, and saw much better results in 2015.
Obviously, he still isn’t thriving against that pitch. He wrecked pitches on the inner-upper half of the plate, but still struggled a bit across the plate.
However, that skill is still evolving.
With Young being an unapologetic abuser of the top half of the zone, it will be interesting to see who has the advantage in this matchup.