Jennings: Wang’s locker is empty


Man on the scene Chad Jennings notes that Chien-Ming Wang‘s locker in the Triple-A Scranton clubhouse is empty, and he is no longer listed on the team’s upcoming pitching rotation. This could mean one of two things: a) he’s on his way back to New York (he won’t necessarily be activated right away), or b) he’s heading to High-A Tampa because the team doesn’t want him starting on the road when he makes his next scheduled start on Friday (both AAA & AA are on the road that day, so a start would have to come with High-A Tampa). My money’s on the former.

If they feel he is indeed ready to return to the rotation, the best course of action appears to be letting Wang start Friday against the Phillies on regular rest, pushing AJ Burnett and Andy Pettitte back a day. Phil Hughes would start tomorrow then be pulled from the rotation, while CC Sabathia and Joba Chamberlain remain on a five-day schedule. They could also opt to skip Joba and give Hughes another start. The possibilities are endless. The important thing is that it appears the Yanks’ incumbent ace is ready to rejoin the team.

Categories : Asides, Injuries


  1. Considering the GAKIII report this morning saying the Yanks want Wang to take more time, I’m surprised at this development. But then again, I take GAKIII reports with a grain of salt.

  2. A.D. says:

    Skipping a Joba start would play nicely into last thread’s discussion

  3. I Remember Celerino Sanchez says:

    I have a sinking feeling that Wang is going to get lit up when he comes back. I just can’t get myself to believe some PT and two minor league starts are enough to turn him around.

    Anyone want to convince me my fear is irrational? I’d like that.

    • Yankeegirl49 says:

      I would like Wang ton convince you that your fear is irrational.

    • ClayBuchholzLovesLaptops says:

      I’m sorry, but I have the exact same feeling. His three starts were so bad, I wouldn’t trust him in the majors even if he had pitched to perfect games in Scranton. Not unless he does it in the bigs I’m trusting him again.

      On the plus side, the Indians’ AAA team had some good names in the kineup: Hafner, Marte, Aubrey, Graffanino. I know there is a reason these guys are only in AAA, but at least they were top prospects at a time or major leaguers.

      • Slu says:

        So you won’t trust him until he does it against major leaguers, but you don’t want to give him the chance to prove himself?

        This team needs Wang. They also need to know sooner rather than later if he can contribute. He can’t do anything else against minor leaguers. It is time to give him another shot. His past track record earns him this shot.

        • Some Call Me...Nick. says:

          This team needs Wang.

          no joke necessary…

        • ClayBuchholzLovesLaptops says:

          No. Of course the team has to give him a chance. I, personally, will have a bad feeling the day he takes the mound. My problem is just that I don’t trust him one bit to get major league hitters out at the moment. If the teams does so, I’m fine with that, cause the team needs him as you said.

          • Max says:

            The way Hughes has been pitching, I’m more than ready to see #40 take the mound, regardless of what happens.

            • ClayBuchholzLovesLaptops says:

              Outside of his start in Detroit, Hughes has been very underwhelming. With Wang, in the last few years, everytime he took the mound, I thought we had a chance to win the game. Now this feeling is not there for me, which does not mean he should not be brought back up. If the front office thinks, he is ready to come back, then bring him back.

    • A.D. says:

      I would have the same feeling, if it weren’t for his 2nd start in Scranton.

      When Wang first go to extended spring he was getting hit around there, so that fact that he could then pitch well at AAA means that they obviously fixed something.

  4. ADam says:

    Any word on who got the ax in the pen?

  5. Jamal G. says:

    With A.J. Burnett pitching 110 or more pitches in each of his last three starts, including Sunday’s 123-pitch outing, I’d like to see the Yankees skip Burnett’s start on Friday instead of pushing everyone back a day. Also, doing this allows the Yanks to still throw two southpaw starters at the lefty-laden bats the Phillies employ in the middle of the order.

  6. leokitty says:

    I would love for Wang to come back and be awesome but him facing the Phillies lineup in his first start back is a bit terrifying.

    • Mister Delaware says:

      What could go wrong with letting Wang face a lefty heavy team in a park giving up HRs at a historic rate?

  7. Axl says:

    I’m wary of these “7 scoreless innings” and such when it comes to the minor league “rehab” stints. We’ve seen Ian Kennedy go down there and bulldoze people left and right and each time…he’ll come back up as if he’d never left…getting tanked around again. Same with Igawa. He has some nice numbers down there but they still refuse to ever bring him back up lol.

    I haven’t heard a word on how his old stellar sinker is doing. Is it back? How’s the velocity? Has he been keeping it down??

    Even if Wang had been pitching like he did against the Indians that Saturday afternoon to these AAA kids…he still could turn out looking ok. Afterall, the Indians had the most runs scored in the majors in the 2nd half last year…and that was WITHOUT Hafner and with a virtually useless Victor Martinez. So Wang could have had a similar outing against a bunch of inexperienced kids and had an entirely different result. Or what I like to call “The Kennedy/Igawa Effect” starring Ashton Kutcher.

    If he has a nice high velocity and he’s keeping that sinker down and he’s confident and consistent with using it…THEN him coming back up makes sense. Him 3 hitting the Chatham A’s doesn’t exactly redeem his previous performance or give me any confidence for that matter…

    • Mike Axisa says:

      A virtually useless Victor Martinez? Hah. Have you seen what that guy is doing this year?

      • Axl says:

        Last year. I talked about the Indians having the best offense in the majors in the 2nd half LAST YEAR. Victor Martinez was horrible last year…I should know because I obviously had him on my fantasy team…along with Verlander, Oswalt and Ryan Zimmerman…thanks guys!

        • Mike Axisa says:

          Ah ok, I see. My bad.

          • “I should know because I obviously had him on my fantasy team…”

            Yeah, Mike, how could you forget who was on Axl’s fantasy team last year? You’re slipping.

            • Axl says:

              Exactly! Every year I have at least half of the “underperforming players of the year” list that are sometimes made after the season. Then there was the year I had Ryan Howard and Justin Morneau (in their MVP years) as well as Hafner and Prince Fielder…nobody would trade me for any of them. It was awful. I figured I’d grab them because they were out there so late that year and I could at the very least use them for trade bait…nah, stuck with them all…all season.

    • JobaWockeeZ says:

      [b]I haven’t heard a word on how his old stellar sinker is doing. Is it back? How’s the velocity? Has he been keeping it down??
      [/b] or check up the posts about about his starts on RAB to save you the troube, I’m pretty sure they have detailed everything out.

      • JobaWockeeZ says:

        HTML fail. I need to remind mysef blogs =/= forums.

      • To be fair, we haven’t really gotten any detailed reports on how he’s been pitching. CJ said he looked ok, control was still a little off, and velocity seems to be in the 88-92 range. But it’s not like Axl is missing a ton of detailed info and just not doing the research, there’s not much out there.

        • Axl says:

          Thank you.

          • I just didn’t think he had to be so snarky about it… I know how sensitive you are. ;-)

            (PS: He had a point… For info like that you can check here or, for info on players at SWB, go to Chad Jennings’ blog.)

            • Axl says:

              I’m sure I could run around and check for it…but I figured it was such a focal point of his bad outings that it would have been certainly brought up at least somewhere on here or during the games in their Wang updates…and I hadn’t heard anything from either. Usually zero updates on the main problem at hand means that it hasn’t been fixed…and there probably would have been talk about his sinker not being back to what it was had the “numbers” been different. But I know there are places for me to find this stuff…just figured I guess…

    • ClayBuchholzLovesLaptops says:

      Wang faced Hafner his Sundy, Hafner’s line: 1-for-3, 1 single.

      • I Remember Celerino Sanchez says:

        I’m nervous like you, but to further your point, Graffanino was 1-2 (single), Marte was 0-3 (he doubled off of Bruney in the 2nd game) and Aubry was 0-3. So it’s not like he was facing 21-year-old kids in A ball.

        • ClayBuchholzLovesLaptops says:

          Yeah, I said it was the real upside of his start. There were some guys who could me in the majors and got them out.

    • A.D. says:

      Well since Wang was even putting up not so impressive starts in extended spring training, and now is pitching well in AAA, then something has been fixed, is he back to old Wang, who knows, but we don’t really have a way of telling without bringing him to the majors.

      If you read through CJs batter by batter, Wang got a bunch of ground balls for either outs or hits, and then only gave up a few fly balls, none labeled as particularly deep, and quite a few being labeled as soft liners, shallow, or sky high.

  8. I have tickets to Friday’s game. to me this is like a 100% chance that Wang pitches Friday.

  9. The dark day in the schedule on Thursday the 28th also comes into play, though. Here’s how everybody lines up right now, with Wang superimposed:

    Thu 5/14 @ TOR – W 3-2 Sabathia
    Fri 5/15 MIN – W 5-4 Hughes
    Sat 5/16 MIN – W 6-4 Chamberlain
    Sun 5/17 MIN – W 3-2 Burnett
    Mon 5/18 MIN – W 7-6 Pettitte

    Tue 5/19 BAL – Sabathia
    Wed 5/20 BAL – Hughes
    Thu 5/21 BAL – Chamberlain
    Fri 5/22 PHI – Burnett – Wang’s turn
    Sat 5/23 PHI – Pettitte
    Sun 5/24 PHI – Sabathia
    Mon 5/25 @ TEX – Hughes
    Tue 5/26 @ TEX – Chamberlain
    Wed 5/27 @ TEX –Burnett – Wang’s turn
    Thu 5/28 off – Pettitte
    Fri 5/29 @ CLE – Sabathia
    Sat 5/30 @ CLE – Hughes
    Sun 5/31 @ CLE – Chamberlain
    Mon 6/1 @ CLE – Burnett – Wang’s turn

    And then back home for seven against Texas and Tampa Bay.

    With that dark day, even absent Wang’s addition, either Pettitte gets skipped, he pitches on two extra days rest and Hughes gets skipped on the 5/30 game, or everybody gets pushed back a day. Here’s a possible solution. Every pitcher who’s not pitching on regular four days rest has a number next to their name of how many days rest they’d be on.

    Tue 5/19 BAL – Sabathia
    Wed 5/20 BAL – Hughes
    Thu 5/21 BAL – Chamberlain
    Fri 5/22 PHI – Wang
    Sat 5/23 PHI – Burnett – 5
    Sun 5/24 PHI – Pettitte – 5
    Mon 5/25 @ TEX – Sabathia – 5
    Tue 5/26 @ TEX – Chamberlain
    Wed 5/27 @ TEX –Wang
    Thu 5/28 off
    Fri 5/29 @ CLE – Burnett – 5
    Sat 5/30 @ CLE – Pettitte – 5
    Sun 5/31 @ CLE – Sabathia – 5
    Mon 6/1 @ CLE – Wang
    Tues 6/2 TEX – Chamberlain – 7
    Wed 6/3 TEX – Burnett
    Thu 6/4 TEX – Pettitte
    Fri 6/5 TBA – Sabathia
    Sat 6/6 TBA – Wang
    Sun 6/7 TBA – Chamberlain

    Burnett, Pettite, and Sabathia, the vets who are probably the most flexible, IMO, get an extra day off twice through the rotation. Wang remains on regular rest. Joba gets half-skipped, basically pushing his start back two days. Hughes disappears after Wang is activated, no need to make a 40-man move.

  10. Conan says:

    So, if Wang gets lit up in his next 2-3 starts, do we move this guy to the bullpen or come up with another “mysterious” ailment?

  11. [...] be Phil Hughes’s last start for the Yankees — for now, of course. With indications that Chien-Ming Wang could be back soon, Hughes could be headed back to AAA to continue building up innings. There’s a chance he [...]

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