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Hedges to have MRI on right elbow

Yates sets club mark; Young joins league office
MLB.com @AJCassavell

SAN DIEGO -- Padres catcher Austin Hedges was sent to Los Angeles on Thursday to receive tests on his ailing right elbow, including an MRI. Results weren't available as of first pitch Thursday night.

Hedges has been out of the lineup since April 30 with right elbow tendinitis. He resumed throwing on Tuesday, partaking in what the club termed as "light catch."

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SAN DIEGO -- Padres catcher Austin Hedges was sent to Los Angeles on Thursday to receive tests on his ailing right elbow, including an MRI. Results weren't available as of first pitch Thursday night.

Hedges has been out of the lineup since April 30 with right elbow tendinitis. He resumed throwing on Tuesday, partaking in what the club termed as "light catch."

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"He hasn't had a setback," manager Andy Green said Thursday. "He threw yesterday, felt good, we just felt it was the right time to get some tests done."

Hedges was hitting .173/.235/.293 when he was placed on the disabled list on May 1. Still, his absence has been felt behind the plate, where he's one of the sport's best defensive backstops.

The Padres remain optimistic that Hedges' absence won't be an extended one. They've used a platoon of A.J. Ellis and Raffy Lopez in his place.

Yates hits the century mark
Right-hander Kirby Yates became the fastest to reach 100 strikeouts for the Padres when he punched out Nationals shortstop Trea Turner in the eighth inning Wednesday night. (For good measure, he followed that by whiffing Anthony Rendon.) It took Yates only 66 2/3 innings to hit the century mark -- 12 1/3 frames faster than closer Brad Hand, who held the club record previously.

Even before Yates arrived in San Diego via an April 2017 waiver claim, he was a strikeout-heavy reliever. But his ERA has plummeted -- from 5.38 with his first three teams to 3.22 in 74 appearances with the Padres.

That's largely a product of the splitter Yates developed early in 2017. It's become his go-to out pitch and a perfect complement to his fastball.

"He's made some really good hitters look really bad with it," said bullpen coach Doug Bochtler.

"It just looks like his fastball for a long time, and then it isn't," said Ellis.

With 101 strikeouts in 67 innings, Yates is the only pitcher in Padres history to average more than a strikeout and a half per inning.

"When I throw a good one, it's a swing-and-miss pitch," Yates said. "When I throw my best [splitter], they shouldn't make any contact."

Young takes job with MLB
Former Padres right-hander Chris Young has been named vice president of on-field operations, initiatives and strategy for Major League Baseball, the league announced Thursday. Per MLB's release, Young will collaborate to address "issues that affect play on the field, including the application of playing rules and regulations, on-field discipline, pace of play and other special projects."

"We're happy to have him in that position -- a former player that played the game the right way," said Chase Headley, Young's longtime teammate. "He has the best intentions for where baseball's headed. To have him in a position like that, it's another mind to preserve what the game should be played like."

Young, a Princeton grad, pitched for San Diego from 2006-10, where he posted a 3.60 ERA over 97 starts. He was a non-roster invite to the Padres' Spring Training camp this year, but missed out on a rotation spot in the final week of camp.

AJ Cassavell covers the Padres for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @ajcassavell.

San Diego Padres, Austin Hedges