On Michael Kay’s 1050 ESPN Radio show today, Andrew Marchand reported that the Yankees specifically told Chien-Ming Wang not to work his legs as usual this offseason because of his lisfranc issue. You can listen to the clip here. Marchand said he spoke to GM Brian Cashman, who admitted that it was a mistake to tell Wang that, but also cited the team’s lack of experience with the injury. Cash also mentioned that Brian Bruney was also told not to work out his legs, so there’s a chance that may have contributed to his present elbow issues.
Marchand also said he spoke Alan Nero, Wang’s agent, who said his client is upset about being told not to work his legs, as well as having to work out of the bullpen. He’ll go along with it for the time being because he’s a team player. Cashman’s response: “His contract says baseball player, not starting pitcher.” That’s an OH SNAP! moment if there ever was one.
Is this another example of the Yanks treating Wang unfairly? The other day, PeteAbe chronicled how the Yanks have always seemed to keep Wang at arm’s length, but I’m not sure I agree with that. For starters, I don’t see how going to arbitration over $600,000 suggests anything about anything; the salary the Yanks offered was well in line with similar pitchers with similar service time, and the Yanks aren’t going to pay the extra money to a player under team control just because the team can afford too. Obviously, the arbitrator agreed with the team on that one.
Did the Yanks screw up by activating Wang too early? Yeah, they did, but what’s done is done, and now both the team and Wang have to work to correct things. As we discussed yesterday, having too many good pitchers is a great problem to have, and at some point Wang will get his shot back at the rotation. But right now, it’s far to early to say Wang’s ready to resume his regular starting duties.
(h/t The Artist for the Marchand link)