Tag: Chien-Ming Wang

Odds of Cincinnati Reds’ Top 5 Non-Roster Invitees Making the 2014 Roster

The Cincinnati Reds are prepping their Goodyear, Ariz. practice facility for another season of spring training, and five non-roster invitees are looking to carve out their path to the team’s 25-man roster.

In analyzing the team’s depth chart and active roster, it becomes clear that there’s only one spot where a non-roster invitee has a clear-cut path to roster inclusion. The team lacks a backup shortstop, and with no player on the 40-man roster ready to assume that responsibility, it looks as though one of the team’s non-roster invitees will get the opportunity to win that role.

The position battle there will come down to the two infielders with the most big league experience: Ramon Santiago and Chris Nelson. After that, players will likely have to rely on injuries to others to make the active roster.

The positions most likely to see an injury this spring look to be the outfield and the starting rotation.

Heading into the 2014 season, there are some significant concerns surrounding Johnny Cueto and his long-term stability. On top of that, both Tony Cingrani and Mat Latos experienced soreness in their throwing arms by the end of the 2013 season.

Should one of these players go down, then Jeff Francis and Chien-Ming Wang are the two non-roster invitees with the best chance to secure a spot in the starting rotation.

In the outfield, Ryan Ludwick’s health is a major question mark. Although he’s almost a year removed from a devastating shoulder injury that cost him nearly the entire 2013 season, another injury to his shoulder could pave the way for Roger Bernadina to make the 25-man roster.

So, of these five players—Santiago, Nelson, Francis, Wang and Bernadina—which one has the best odds to make the 25-man roster as a non-roster invitee? Let’s find out.


Stats courtesy of Baseball-Reference.com and Fangraphs.com unless otherwise noted.

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New York Yankees: Why Chien-Ming Wang Signing Was a Great Move for Bombers

Brian Cashman was at it again.

The Yankees general manager lured back the team’s former ace on Friday night, signing Chien-Ming Wang to a minor league deal.

Bryan Hoch of MLB.com said Wang will report to the Yankees camp on Monday in preparation for the 2013 season.

The 32-year-old pitched for the Yankees from 2005-2009 and went 55-26 during that time before running into injuries.

After suffering a season-ending shoulder injury that required surgery, Wang missed all of the 2010 season but has pitched the last two years with the Washington Nationals.

Wang has been trying to get back to his old form while with the Nationals, pitching both as a starter and reliever during that time.

Looking for a job for the upcoming season, Wang used the World Baseball Classic as an audition in hopes of signing a deal. The Yankees sent scouts to watch Wang pitch and liked what they saw.

Wang tossed 12 scoreless innings, scattered 10 hits, allowed one walk and struck out three in two games for the Chinese Taipei squad.

After the WBC ended, the Yankees brought Wang down to their complex in Tampa for a workout to get a first-hand look at how he’s been pitching.

What Cashman saw was Wang’s fastball around the 92 to 93 miles-per-hour range and that his sinker had the bowling-ball action of being heavy, which is what it had when Wang was with the Yankees.

And it was enough for Cashman to sign him with an opportunity to make the team in 2013.

Personally, I love this signing for the Yankees because it adds even more depth and gives them some much-needed insurance to the rotation.

Some doubters might say that Wang is 32 and hasn’t pitched like his old self in several years, which is true.

He’s also a pitcher who suffered two devastating injuries that are tough to the anatomy of a pitcher; his foot and his throwing shoulder.

Before 2009, Wang was one of the most successful pitchers in the game, but some pitchers can’t avoid the injury bug.

If Wang is getting his old form back, he should be able to breeze through the minor leagues and get called up.

With the Yankees having a set rotation, he could start out as a long reliever or on mop-up duty and wait for an injury or pitch well enough that Joe Girardi can’t not put him in the rotation.

Back in 2011, the Yankees did the same thing with Bartolo Colon, who started out in the bullpen and eventually got moved up once Phil Hughes went on the DL.

And with the Yankees rotation filled with age, Wang’s signing could come in handy.

What if Andy Pettitte suffers an injury? What if CC Sabathia or Hiroki Kuroda goes on the DL unexpectedly?

The back end of the rotation, which is Hughes and Ivan Nova, isn’t always a sure thing. Hughes has a tendency of getting hurt, and Nova suffered a huge setback in 2012 with a terrible second half.

Then, there’s Michael Pineda, who isn’t set to return to the Yankees until sometime in the summer, and he hasn’t pitched in the majors since the end of 2011 with the Mariners.

Like I said before, Wang will probably begin 2013 in the minors and take the route Pettitte did when he returned from his retirement last year.

Think of Wang as an “ace in the hole” that the Yankees have in waiting, as he’ll go through his own spring training.

When you see Wang pitching, never mind the velocity. Look at his location, especially at his sinker.

When his sinker is down and batters are chopping it into the ground, that’s when you know his form is really back.

If all goes well and Wang looks anything like the guy that pitched for the team a few years ago, the Yankees have an opportunity to put together one of the strongest pitching staffs in the game.

With the offense suffering injuries the way it has, the Yankees will need all the strong pitching they can get.

Stay tuned, Yankees universe.


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New York Yankees Sign Pitcher Chien-Ming Wang to a Minor League Contract

The New York Yankees have added a familiar face to their team, signing veteran right-handed pitcher Chien-Ming Wang to a free-agent contract.

The story was first reported in a tweet by CBSSports.com’s Jon Heyman:

CBSSports.com’s Mike Axisa confirmed the report and indicated his belief that the contract was a minor league deal.

The 33-year-old Wang is a native of Taiwan. His first major league team was the Yankees, who signed him as an amateur free agent in 2000.

He made his major league debut in 2005, and won 19 games in both 2006 and 2007.

His success was short-lived, as he missed more than half of each of the 2008 and 2009 seasons because of nagging injuries to his feet and hips.

Wang signed with the Washington Nationals in 2010, but missed the entire season because of a shoulder injury.

He has pitched sparingly the past two years because of his inability to stay healthy or regain his former dominance.

Wang’s best season was in 2006, when he went 19-6 with a 3.63 ERA in 34 games (33 starts) and finished second in American League Cy Young voting behind the Minnesota Twins’ Johan Santana.

He struggled in 10 games (five starts) with the Nationals last year, posting just a 2-3 record and 6.68 ERA.

He has a career record of 61-32 with a 4.26 ERA in seven major league seasons.

Wang’s repertoire is highlighted by a heavy sinker that induces a lot of ground balls. He has allowed only a total of 54 home runs during his 756.1 career innings. By comparison, Cincinnati Reds’ right-hander Bronson Arroyo gave up 46 home runs in just 199 innings in 2011.

The Yankees decided to give Wang another shot after he pitched 12 shutout innings for Chinese Tapei in this year’s World Baseball Classic.

He was scouted heavily by a number of teams during the tournament but ultimately went to the Yankee’s spring training complex for a tryout that led to his signing.

With five starters (C.C. Sabathia, Andy Pettitte, Hiroki Kuroda, Phil Hughes and Ivan Nova) slotted for the major league staff, Wang will likely provide depth by starting the season in Triple-A. If he can prove his WBC was no fluke, he could give New York good value this year if they need another starter.

Wang is a long way from his former glory as the Yankees’ ace, but he and the team hope this reunion can help recapture his effectiveness and finish his career on a more positive note.

Statistics via Baseball-Reference

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Report: Chien-Ming Wang Agrees to Deal with New York Yankees for 2013

The Yankees have officially brought back a former ace pitcher.

Jon Heyman of CBS Sports and WFAN broke the news on Friday night that the Bombers will sign Chien-Ming Wang to a deal.




The terms of the deal haven’t been confirmed yet, but it’ll likely be a minor-league deal that the Yankees will sign Wang to.

The 32-year-old Wang caught the attention of the Bombers this past month pitching in the World Baseball Classic for the Chinese Taipei team, tossing 12 scoreless innings for them.

After impressing Yankees GM Brian Cashman at the WBC, the Yankees brought Wang down to their complex in Tampa for a workout session and to see him pitch firsthand for them.

The Yankees apparently liked what they saw to give Wang a deal for 2013 and the chance to make the team.

Wang went 55-26 with the Yankees from 2005-2009 and pitched well before running into injuries in 2008 and 2009.

He suffered a season-ending foot injury in 2008 running the bases for the Yankees in an interleague game against the Houston Astros.

He suffered a shoulder injury in July of 2009, which required season-ending surgery and forced him to miss all of 2010.

Since then, Wang has pitched for the Washington Nationals in starting and relief roles in 2011 and 2012.

Wang will likely take the road Andy Pettitte did in 2012 as far as coming back to the majors goes, starting out in the minor leagues and working his way back to the majors.

For the 32-year-old pitcher, it’s fitting that he gets a second chance to put on the pinstripes again to try to resume his career with the team that he came up with as a professional.

If he’s anywhere near the form he had back in 2005-2008, the Yankees could potentially have a steal in adding depth to their rotation.

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Washington Nationals Remain in First Place, Chien-Ming Wang Picks Up First Win

The Washington Nationals called up Chien-Ming Wang earlier this week with intentions of using him out of the bullpen and keeping him on a starter’s schedule.

Although he is not starting games right now for the Nats, he was able to record his first win of the year in his first game that he has pitched in this season.

After taking over for Ross Detwiler in the fifth inning, Wang pitched three innings of one-run ball and was on the winning end of the decision. 

The Nationals scored four runs in the first and held off the Atlanta Braves as they chipped away the rest of the game. 

Leading 4-3 in the seventh, the Nats broke out for three more runs to give them some breathing room.

They held on to win the game 7-4 to keep their division foes at bay in the NL East and give Wang his first win of the season.

Wang can certainly be valuable to this team down the road. 

If Stephen Strasburg truly does get shut down around 160 innings, then Wang can fill in for him or if the man he took over for on Friday, Detwiler, struggles, then it will be Wang who gets the call to replace him in the rotation.

The Nats are lucky to have a quality arm coming out of the pen right now to eat up innings and pick up their starters.


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Washington Nationals Promote Chien-Ming Wang, Place Ryan Mattheus on DL

The Washington Nationals bullpen appears to be in trouble and Chien-Ming Wang is on his way to the MLB to provide some help.

The Nats have been without Drew Storen all season and Adam Kilgore has reported that they will now be without reliever Ryan Mattheus:

Mattheus has a partial tear of plantar fascia and is now on the 15-day DL. Mattheus has six holds this season and has a 2.25 ERA in 20 innings to go along with 13 strikeouts.

The Nats will send Wang to the bullpen to provide depth and support to the depleted pen. Brad Lidge is still on the DL and Henry Rodriguez continues to struggles, so the Nats will take any help they can get.

The Nationals went to set-up man Tyler Clippard to finish the game and record his first save on Tuesday night.

The addition of Wang will help the Nats and provide some depth out of the bullpen.


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Washington Nationals: Chien-Ming Wang Will Pitch out of Bullpen Upon Return

The Washington Nationals have a problem when it comes to their starting pitching.

They have too many worthy starters. It is certainly a decent problem to have for any major league ballclub.

With Chien-Ming Wang looming in the minors and his rehab stint nearing its end, the Nats are going to have to decide which of their overachieving starters will have to take the fall and move to the bullpen. 

Manager Davey Johnson shed some light on the topic on Saturday.

Amanda Comak, the Nationals beat writer for the Washington Times tweeted, 

The move will allow for Ross Detwiler (3-2, 2.75 ERA) to remain in the rotation for the Nats. Comak also reported that Wang will “work out of the bullpen on a starter’s schedule,” and that the Nats “would be mindful of his time to warm up.”

The abundance of starting pitching will allow the Nats the option to shut down Stephen Strasburg later in the year when he approaches the highly anticipated 160 innings mark. 

Whether or not Wang waits around in the bullpen until that point in the season will be determined as the summer progresses. 


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New York Yankees and Their $200-Million, Mediocre Pitching Staff

The whole offseason drama with the Yankees was: “Who’s going to pitch for us?”

The Yankees have talented minor league pitching prospects, but they aren’t ready to pitch by Opening Day and they have free agents on their staff, with decidedly mixed results.

Where that leaves the Yankees as Spring Training 2011 begins is with a starting rotation with holes the size of fishing nets. Just how did the richest organization in sports get into this mess?

Short answer: They don’t develop pitchers. 

Since the “Core Four” came up together in 1996, the Yankees have developed exactly one starting pitcher: Phil Hughes.

For years, the Yankees relied on Andy Pettitte and a bevy of free agents: Clemens, Mussina, Wells, Pavano, Wright, Irabu, etc.

During that time, from 1996 until 2010, there were two pitchers the Yankees brought up that could have worked, but A: They traded Ted Lilly for a headcase and B: They mishandled Chien-Ming Wang’s injury and he is busted for the foreseeable future.

It’s interesting to note that the Yankees were initially reluctant to bring Wang up and showed little faith in him, despite his domination of the minor leagues. Wang only was in the rotation because free agents Kevin Brown, Carl Pavano and Jared Wright all had catastrophic performances throughout 2005.

Wang was never supposed to have been given a chance—circumstances and desperation afforded him his opportunity.

In any event, the point is the Yankees have had no real success in developing young pitchers since 1996. Their faith has always been placed—despite much evidence to the contrary—in free agency.

Whether it was due to lack of interest or just plain old incompetence, the Yankees haven’t been able to develop a young pitcher and haven’t shown any confidence in giving one a chance.

“We’re gonna be in it every year,” says Hank Steinbrenner. “Every single year.”

Which is great news for Yankees fans, having an ownership that puts their profit back onto the field is a wonderful thing.

Ask the Pirates.

But it also means that trusting rookies to develop is going to usually be a non-starter, especially pitchers. Rookies make mistakes, need time to grow.

Check out Randy Johnson’s first couple of years, or Johan Santana’s or Tom Glavine’s. It takes a bit of time before pitchers find their groove.

The Yankees do not have a bit of time.

So here come the free agents—the Kei Igawas, the Kevin Browns, the Jared Wrights, the A.J. Burnetts.

Which brings us to 2011 Spring Training, with a ball club that has a $200 million dollar price tag and roughly 2.5 to 3.5 starting pitchers.

Ivan Nova will probably have a starting job, but will also have the added pressure that he has to produce immediately as a starter in the rotation. He wont be afforded the luxury of developing in the bullpen and working his way onto the staff. His growth as a pitcher is borne of panicked desperation instead of prudent development.

Our rivals to the north have in two slots of their rotation potential aces that were home-grown. Both Jon Lester and Clay Buchholz came up young, were allowed to make mistakes (Jon Lester’s WHIP his first two years was 1.648 and 1.460; Buchholz went 2-9, 6.75 ERA, 1.763 WHIP in 2008), were allowed to get sent back down to AAA to work on their stuff and generally learn and grow.

There is very little chance that the Yankees would have allowed a 2-9 performance or a 1.648 WHIP rookie on their staff. A call would have been made to Sidney Ponson or Shawn Chacon to try to save the season.

Development over.

So that is where the Yankees are in 2011: Two quality starters, one recovering starter, one journeyman starter and a rushed rookie, along with a $200 million dollar price tag and tons of hope in the minors, but most of them at least a year away.

Going forward, the prayers of Yankees fans regarding those talented minor league pitchers are A: Don’t rush them (remember 19-year-old Jose Rijo?) and B: Don’t trade them for someone like Derek Lowe or Bronson Arroyo in an attempt to catch the Red Sox in July.

I do appreciate the Yankees spending beau-coup bucks to try to win. But that mindset—of winning every single season no matter what—has placed pitcher development on the back burner, and has created a culture of distrust of young pitchers.

“Win now” has meant “No Growing Pains;” either perform like an All-Star immediately or you’re out, which is a short-sighted philosophy.

Overpaying an older, fading pitcher who may not fit your team and who will plug your payroll for years (Brown, Johnson, Wright) instead of taking a chance to develop a younger, cheaper pitcher makes no sense over the long haul.

Yet the Yankees continue to do it.

Which is how we got here.

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2011 Free Agency: How Chin-Ming Wang and Other Acquisitions Affect Washington

Chien-Mang Wang is a National again this year.  To many it may be surprising that he even was a National last year considering he never pitched an inning.  Wang must have made strides rehabbing last year though because he was offered and accepted a $1 million contract (with $5 million in incentives) from the Nationals.  

This deal is a very savvy move by Nationals GM Mike Rizzo because the Nationals have added a pitcher that has good upside for a very low price.  If Wang can reach the pitchers mound he will easily be worth his contract.

When healthy, Wang won 19 games in back-to-back seasons and had an ERA under four. Wang gained this success with control, not speed.  Wang never was a hard thrower and only topped 100 strikeouts in a season once. If he can pitch to hitters and keep his walks very far and in between he could be a consistent starter, something the Nationals desperately need.  

While this acquisition while bolster a pitching rotation that features Livan Hernandez, Jason Marquis, Jordan Zimmerman and a whole mess of others the Nationals will still end up at the bottom of the barrel in the NL East.  Livan Hernandez had a tremendous season last year posting an ERA of 3.66, his last three seasons averaging out to be above a five ERA.

I wouldn’t find it very surprising at all if his ERA went back to his career average of 4.39. Marquis was a 2010 offseason acquisition who couldn’t get an out and is battling for a spot in the rotation.  

Jordan Zimmerman is a young pitcher still struggling in the big leagues who will be competing with Josh Lannan and a host of others.  What the Nationals do have is a young and talented bullpen which had to pitch the most innings of any major league club (545.2), but finished at No. 5 in ERA at 3.35.  However, the Nationals still lack an ace, a solid rotation, and an imposing offensive unit.  

The Nationals offense now finds itself weaker then a season ago with the departure of Adam Dunn and the trade of Josh Willingham to the Athletics for prospects Corey Brown (OF) and Henry Rodriguez (RP).  Jayson Werth was brought in to fill in for Adam Dunn who provided the Nationals with 38 home runs and over 100 RBIs for back-to-back seasons.  

While Werth has had an amazing career in Philadelphia, he played in a hitter’s ballpark with a lineup that included Ryan Howard, Chase Utley, Jimmy Rollins, etc.  In the last three years, Werth has hit 13 more home runs and slugging .04 higher at Citizens Bank Park.  

While his power numbers increased at home his average and on-base percentage stayed the same.  With this in mind, Werth will probably be able to provide some pop for the Nationals, just in the park of 25-30 home runs.  While he will be a defensive upgrade from Dunn, he will not be able to fill in the power vacuum left by Adam Dunn.  

The only other notable offensive unit added to the Nationals is Rick Ankiel, who signed a one-year deal for $1.5 million plus incentives which will platoon in the OF.  Jayson Werth and Rick Ankiel are not the men who will be able to rally around Ryan Zimmerman and give the Nationals a winning team.  

Jayson Werth and Rick Ankiel are by no means better then the combination of Josh Willingham and Adam Dunn that the Nationals had last year.  At this point I just start to feel bad for Ryan Zimmerman.  Zimmerman will once again have to carry the Nationals offensively in what is sure to be another losing year.

But the worst thing for the Nationals is that every team in the NL East improved in some way this offseason.  The Braves gained power-hitting second baseman Dan Uggla and utility man Erik Hinske while bolstering its bullpen with George Sherill.  

The Marlins signed Javier Vazquez and shored up its bullpen dilemma via free agency and trade.  

The Mets added very few players this off season, but have added Carrasco to replace Feliciano and are looking to a team that features Jason Bay, Carlos Beltran and Jose Reyes healthy.  

Finally, the Phillies have added Cliff Lee to its rotation to create one of the best rotations in Major League history.     

The Nationals will be a team to look out for in the future with such stars as Strasburg, Harper and Ramos.  For the 2011 season, though, the Nationals will still finish last in the division due to a horrible rotation, a lack of offense and an improved division.

I predict the Nationals will therefore regress this season, eventually finishing the year at 65-95.         

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Chien-Ming Wang: The Former New York Yankees Ace’s Disappearing Act

There are plenty of players in professional sports who can have a great performance once in a while.

One day the guy is on fire, and the next he’s just an average player.

The ability to be consistently good is one of the qualities which make a professional athlete great at their job.   

The athletes described above—those who can have a breakout game once in a while—are merely role players who have a small impact on their respective teams, because they aren’t able to be consistent with their play.   

As for the stars, after a few seasons of performing well and proving themselves at the professional level, you can generally say that that player will continue to do so for many seasons to come. 

This is what makes the disappearing act of former New York Yankees ace Chien-Ming Wang so interesting.

Despite rehabbing from an injury after the 2008 season came to a close, it appeared that Wang had legitimized himself as a consistent starting pitcher in the major leagues. Especially when you consider that the righty had started 97 games and had been pitching in the majors for four seasons.

The 2009 season would see Wang take a huge step back, though, even from where he was when he first started in the majors.

In 2005, the 6’3’’ Taiwanese native made his MLB debut for the New York Yankees and was a breath of fresh air for fans.  

The Yankees were finally able to point to a pitcher who had been brought up through the Yankees farm system, as opposed to the high-priced free agents the team had been bringing in for years.

In his first season, Wang pitched admirably, especially for a player who had never appeared in the majors before. He started 17 games for the Bronx Bombers and compiled a record of 8-5 with a solid 4.02 earned-run average.

Wang seemed to learn a lot from his 17 starts in 2005, because he came back in 2006 and had one of the best pitching seasons in the majors. 

Utilizing his patented sinker to induce ground balls, Wang went on to win 19 games and had the eighth-lowest ERA in the American League, at 3.63.

Wang’s 19 wins were tied with Johan Santana for the most in the majors and he finished second to Santana in the AL Cy Young voting.

In 2007, Wang set out to prove the prior season’s success was not an aberration. Despite starting the season on the disabled list, Wang didn’t miss much time and returned to the Yankees rotation at the end of April. 

It didn’t take long for him to return to midseason form, either, as Wang brought a perfect game into the eighth inning against the Seattle Mariners on May 5. 

Wang’s bid for baseball immortality was broken up by a home run off the bat of Ben Broussard, and after the game Broussard had this to say about Wang’s performance: “It’s not like he was completely dominating, but he did a good job of keeping us off balance.” 

In what sounded like a ridiculous statement, Broussard summed up Wang’s entire career with the Yankees. 

He didn’t have a blazing fastball (though he routinely got into the mid-90s,) and he was never a strikeout pitcher. But he worked fast, kept his pitch counts low, rarely walked anyone, and generally kept the ball on the ground thanks to his amazing sinker. 

Despite the fact that Wang threw sinkers almost exclusively, he was able to get major league hitters out because of the velocity with which he threw them. 

Wang didn’t have to pitch like current Yankees ace C.C. Sabathia in order to be effective. He was an unassuming, quiet assassin, and if you were playing against him you would look up in the seventh inning and realize you only had four hits the whole game. 

Despite falling short of a perfect game against the Mariners, Wang never looked back in 2007 and won 19 games for the second consecutive season. Wang also compiled a respectable 3.70 ERA, which ranked 14th in the American League. 

However, Wang’s regular season success didn’t translate into the postseason. Wang was solid in both the 2005 and 2006 ALDS series against the Angels and Tigers, respectively, but the Yankees went on to lose both series. 

In the 2007, ALDS Wang started two games against the Cleveland Indians and did not fare nearly as well.

In Game One he gave up eight earned runs in only 4.2 innings pitched, and in Game Four he only recorded three outs while allowing four earned runs, putting the Yankees in a hole they couldn’t dig themselves out of.    

In a lot of ways, Wang embodied the Yankees’ World Series drought from 2001 to 2008.

Like the Yankees, he was great in the regular season, but when the playoffs started he looked like a completely different player.     

Despite his struggles in the playoffs, Wang had entrenched himself as the Yankees ace heading into the 2008 season, ahead of veterans Mike Mussina and Andy Pettitte. 

Even though the Yankees got off to a slow start, Wang began the season with a 5-0 record. Heading into the second half of the season, Wang had won eight of his first 15 starts and looked to be one of the catalysts to lead a slumping Yankees team to the playoffs. 

These hopes came to an end in Houston when, during an Inter league game against the Astros, Wang came up lame while rounding third base. It was later revealed that he had a partially torn tendon and had sprained his right foot, the combination of which caused him to miss the rest of the 2008 season. 

Wang’s season-ending injury in June was a big part of the Yankees’ most disappointing season in recent memory, as they failed to make the playoffs for the first time since 1994. 

In December of 2008, the Yankees were dead set on fixing what had been their worst season in well over a decade. They went out and signed free agents Mark Teixeira, C.C. Sabathia, and A.J. Burnett. 

The idea was to pair Sabathia and Burnett with Wang and Pettitte (who also re-signed in the off-season,) to form one of the more formidable starting rotations in the majors. 

But as the 2009 season got under way, it became clear that something was wrong with Wang, who started off the season going 0-3 with an astronomical ERA of 34.50 during the month of April. 

Many theorized that Wang’s struggles were because he had changed his pitching mechanics as a result of the foot injury that he had suffered the season prior.

Shortly thereafter, the Yankees sent Wang to the minors to try and correct his pitching motion, and he was subsequently placed on the disabled list a few days later. 

When Wang came off the disabled list he was relegated to pitching out of the bullpen to try and regain his confidence. 

Wang soon returned to his familiar starting role, but he continued to pitch poorly in what was a surreal experience for most Yankee fans. 

Although the player on the mound looked like Chien-Ming Wang, wore Wang’s No. 40, had the same calm demeanor both in the dugout and on the field, and featured a similar repertoire of pitches,  he was not the same player who had anchored the Yankees rotation the past three seasons. 

He went go on to start nine games in 2009, accumulating a record of 1-6 with an ERA of 9.64 before he was placed on the disabled list for the second time, on July 15. 

Wang would have season ending surgery on his shoulder just 15 days later. 

Without their former ace, the Yankees nonetheless went on to finish the regular season with 103 wins and eventually defeated the Philadelphia Phillies for their 27th World Series title. 

Perhaps because they were winning, or perhaps because C.C. Sabathia had taken over as the new Yankees ace, there was very little talk of Wang the rest of the season. 

There were few updates about how he was progressing with his rehab, and despite the fact that his contract was coming to an end after the season, there wasn’t much talk of whether or not the Yankees would re-sign him. 

Wang was absent during the parade down the canyon of heroes when the Yankees celebrated their newest championship, and it had seemed as if Wang had simply disappeared.  

During the 2009 off-season, amid concerns about how quickly Wang (who would soon be turning 30-years-old) would be able to return from major shoulder surgery, the Yankees decided to allow him to become a free agent when they failed to offer him a contract for the 2010 season. 

To many, it had seemed like the Yankees simply gave up too quickly on Wang, who had been the team’s best pitcher for nearly three seasons. 

Wang’s detractors will point out that while he won a lot of games, he did so on one of the best teams in baseball and that he was essentially a one-pitch pitcher who had failed to add any other effective pitches since being called up to the Yankees in 2005. 

While these arguments are valid, the numbers speak for themselves; omitting his injury-riddled 2009 season, Wang had won a total of 54 games in 95 starts. Simply put, the guy was a winner. 

Regardless of how many runs the Yankees were scoring for him, Wang still had to come out and finish the job, which he did more often than not. 

It’s somewhat hard to believe that a player who had a career record of 54-20 with an ERA under 4.00 going into the 2009 season all of a sudden forgot how to pitch because of a foot injury. 

Obviously, it’s a lot more complicated than that, but after the Yankees essentially gave up on him, it didn’t appear that many other major league clubs had much of an interest in Wang either. 

He eventually signed a one-year contract with the Washington Nationals, who have been one of the worst teams in all of Major League Baseball for many seasons. 

In their last two campaigns the Yankees have lost a combined 205 games, which is only 68 fewer losses than they had in the four seasons Wang pitched for them from 2005 through 2008.  

He has yet to pitch this season as he is still recovering from shoulder surgery. Wang was placed on the 60-day disabled list on April 4 but hopes to rejoin the team sometime before mid-season.   

Just when it seemed like Wang had established himself as an effective major league starting pitcher, he dropped off the face of the earth. 

What legitimizes his demise even more is that the Yankees were willing to let him go and few other teams showed much of an interest in the 2006 Cy Young runner-up. What says even more is that the team that decided to take a chance on Wang only gave him a one-year deal just to test the waters. 

Generally speaking, when a magician makes something disappear, they make it re-appear just to show the crowd that it actually existed.

As it stands, Yankees fans and anyone who took an interest in Wang’s career is still waiting for the guy that was the cornerstone of the Yankees rotation for nearly three seasons to re-appear, even if he has to do so with another team.

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