Friday, May 31, 2013

Decision Day 2 For Chien-Ming Wang

"What to do..what to do."

The Yankees saw the best of Chien-Ming Wang when he won 19 games in back-to-back seasons for them from 2006-2007. He was on his way to another fine season (8-2, 4.07) when he ruptured the Lisfranc ligament in his foot running the bases during a 2008 interleague game against the Houston Astros. Shoulder problems and surgery followed and Wang missed the entire 2010 season.

After two years with the Washington Nationals organization, Wang returned to the Bronx Bombers, but with a clause in his contract that allows the 33-year old to become a free agent today at five different points in the season. May 31 is the second of those selected dates (He chose not to opt out at his first chance.). It might not be a tough decision this time around since the Yankees haven't called up their former Cy Young Award candidate despite injuries to starters Andy Pettitte and Ivan Nova. Brian Cashman recently told the NY Daily News his reasons for not giving Wang a call up.
“He’s pitching some good games but he’s not a candidate for this. He’s not the power sinker he used to be, but we believe he needs to mix in more of his breaking balls to have the type of success necessary to pitch up here consistently,” Cashman said in reference to possible roster replacements when Joba Chamberlain was DL'ed due to a strained oblique.
“He’s becoming a different type of pitcher now because he can’t come up here and just sink that sinker every pitch. He needs to incorporate some of his pitches in there and mix and match because he’s that reduced in velocity,” 
Wang is 3-4, 2.65 in eight starts for the Triple-A Scranton RailRiders. He's put together a 1.176 WHIP in 51 innings with 23 strikeouts and 9 walks. He's allowed just two home runs and is coming off his best start of the season in which he tossed seven shutout innings and allowed only two hits. His ground out to air out ratio of 2.12 is not much different than his seasons in the Major Leagues.

According to the Boston Globe's Nick Cafardo there are six teams interested in the Wanger's services. The Baltimore Sun's Dan Connolly reported that the Orioles are one of the teams.

If Wang stays on, he can still opt out at the end of June, August 10, and August 31.

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