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Young faces hitters for first time at Nats camp

VIERA, Fla. -- Newly acquired right-hander Chris Young threw to live hitters for the first time with the Nationals on Wednesday, saying a game appearance is not far off.

"You get out there, start getting a feel, and then you start seeing what you need to work on and start honing in on things," Young said. "Fastball command is first and foremost."

Young expects to throw another bullpen session on Friday before making his Grapefruit League debut. Manager Davey Johnson said Young would likely pitch on Sunday, piggy-backing off Ross Detwiler's start.

Young, 33, was signed to a Minor League deal after Spring Training began. He went 4-9 with a 4.15 ERA with the Mets last season. All 20 of his appearances were starts.

"You build up your strength," Young said. "Nobody is in midseason form right now. It takes time. That's what Spring Training is for, it's why it's so long. It takes time to build up the endurance, the innings in preparation for the season. You bring your pitches along, you get sharper, your mechanics get better and hopefully by the time the season starts, hopefully you're close to where you need to be."