Wang, Yanks blame foot for ineffectiveness


While Chien-Ming Wang is on the disabled list with a hip injury, the Yankees and their erstwhile sinker-ball specialist are blaming Wang’s foot injury for his early-season woes. Yesterday, Wang threw 52 pitches — 33 for strikes — over four scoreless innings. He reached 93 on the gun, according to reports, and seemed sharp.

After the game, Wang and Billy Connors talked with reporters about his injury. The two blamed “stiffness” in Wang’s right foot for his mechanical problems.

To me, that explanation makes perfect sense. Wang has to generate a lot of power through his legs by anchoring himself with his right foot and then driving forward on it as well. By laying off his leg, Wang had been rushing his delivery and putting more pressure on his torso and hips.

For now, Wang has been undergoing an intensive training regime for his foot. He’s running barefoot and doing a lot of pool work to strengthen his legs and core. He’s also working on his confidence after his three disastrous starts in April. “You have to work the head, too,” Connors said to reporters.

Right now, I wouldn’t expect Wang back any time soon. The Yankees are comfortable using Phil Hughes in the rotation. He will be pitching the game tomorrow night against the Red Sox, weather permitting, and the Yankees would prefer to have Wang healthy and effective. I still don’t know though why the Yankees didn’t notice this problem in Spring Training. Wang had an ERA just a shade over 4.10 in the Grapefruit League and seemed on track. Maybe the residual soreness caught up with him, but no matter the cause, he’s working his way back slowly.

Categories : Injuries
  • Aunt Becca-Optimist Prime

    Said it was the foot.

  • ClayBuchholzLovesLaptops

    “I still don’t know though why the Yankees didn’t notice this problem in Spring Training.”

    That’s the point that baffles me, too. He seemed to be okay in Spring Training and suddenly he implodes? There has to be a reason for this, mentally or physically, IMO, as you can’t just forget how to pitch or get your mechanics completly out of sync in a matter of 5 days.

    • Accent Shallow

      I’ll second this. While ST stats are next to meaningless, you’d think the Yankees would have an idea of his stuff, no?

      • ClayBuchholzLovesLaptops

        Plus: If he threw in ST the way he threw in the regular season, the opposite team sure would have hammered him. The lineups might have been lighter, but there would have been enough ML hitters who hit meatballs over the fence.

    • Rich


      Although the Yankees need a healthy and effective Wang (who doesn’t?), the silver lining of Wang’s absence is that it has at least temporarily muted (and mooted) the almost obsessive calls by some segments of the media and fan base, to move Joba to the pen, at a time when the ineffective relief pitching has become this team’s Achilles heel.

    • Drew

      My only contention to this, is that in ST you don’t expect to see the player’s correct velocity. If he was throwing 86- 91 mph in ST it probably was on par with his previous ST’s. Even in his first start, I’m sure we just chalked it up as not having his strength right yet. We couldn’t have assumed it was a problem with weak hips/legs as Contreras stated.

    • Zack

      Maybe the weather? Cold NY compared to warm FL?

      • Zack

        My point was does the temperature level affect the stiffness in the foot.

    • yankees=warriors

      For this, Wang’s agents actually filed a complaint to the Yankees!

      BTW, I see someone asked me “how the taiwanese press is covering chien-ming wang and his struggles?” from the gametime thread. I’ll answer it now so any others that are interested can know.
      As far as the press here is concerned, they’ve been professional and had advocated Wang to go to the minors and work out his problems right after his second horrible start. As for the coverage of his rehab,they have reporters following Wang, so we have updates about him often.

      The people here are far from being like the press, though, because most of them are simply Wang fans instead of Yankee fans. For example, I get close to having an argument with my own dad everytime he asks why Wang isn’t pitching in the majors akready.

  • Accent Shallow

    I’d imagine most of us would prefer Wang to be healthy and effective.

  • Jamal G.

    I’m just ecstatic that it wasn’t a shoulder injury, and that they know – without a doubt – what’s wrong and how to correct it.

  • Joey H

    I just hope the two young guns pitch well in the Sox series. They can’t afford to loose this series nonetheless get swept again. Ego killer. Hot Yankees team against a cold Sox team. I like it.

  • JobaWockeeZ

    So whenever Wang is ready, Hughes will be sent down? I hope so, I want him to get as much innings as possible. I do not want him in the bullpen or him replacing Joba’s spot.

    • Joey H

      It’s going to be hard to say good bye to Hughes if he is pitching well. It’s a rock and a hard place. But it is what will happen.

    • ClayBuchholzLovesLaptops

      They don’t have to make this decision now. Maybe he comes back in in month or so and someone goes to the DL or one of Hughes or Joba struggle. And if not, that’s a good problem to have.

    • Aunt Becca-Optimist Prime

      Dude, if the biggest problem the Yankees have is what to do with an extra starter pitching well?

      I’m marking my territory down by the Canyon of Heroes.

      • Bryan

        I wish we had that problem in the bullpen…

      • Chris C.

        “Dude, if the biggest problem the Yankees have is what to do with an extra starter pitching well?”

        I would be amazed if Wang returned, and Girardi started losing sleep over what to do about his sensational, yet too large starting staff.

  • Moshe Mandel

    Pshaw… I blame some combination of A-Rod, Girardi, the bandbox, Mark Teixeira’s slow start, Joba being in the rotation, and the ticket prices.


    • jsbrendog

      you forgot the bullpen ineffectiveness

      • Matt ACTY

        and Cashman and the bench.

        • Mike Pop

          and the Red Sox low-risk, high-reward signings.

          • Matt ACTY

            Ugh. If only we could’ve made those brilliant moves.

            • Mike Pop

              Ya. They matched talent for talent with what the Yankees did for 1/39th of the price.

              Best offseason in baseball goes to the boys in Boston.

              • Chris C.

                “Best offseason in baseball goes to the boys in Boston.”

                I don’t really understand this. Why did the Red Sox have the best offseason? Smoltz hasn’t tossed a pitch yet, Penny’s been terrible, and Saito is average. The only offseason signings who’ve been any good for them is Ramon Ramirez and Yankee cast-off Nick Green.

                No, the Red Sox are good because of this……they allow their prospects to struggle before they grow into the players they are today. Those kids are allowed to fail before they figure out how to succeed.
                The Yankees don’t have the patience for this. If Delcarmen, Masterson, or Pedroia came up through the Yankee system, they’d have been traded or banished from the major league team by now for now making an immidiate impact when they made the majors.

                The Yankees are starting to show a little more patience with their young guys now, but only because they have no other choice. The Red Sox actually do it because they believe it’s a recipe for success. The Yankees do it because they think they’re stuck having to do it.

                • Joseph Pawlikowski

                  Chris, I believe your sarcasm detector is broken.

                • Chris C.

                  “Chris, I believe your sarcasm detector is broken.”

                  Upon further review, I think you’re right. Perhaps that’s a result of having been brainwashed by so many ESPN know-it-alls regarding how great the Sox offseason really was. Now I don’t know who’s being serious when they say it!

            • Chris C.

              “Ugh. If only we could’ve made those brilliant moves.”

              Impossible. The Yankees no longer waste their time shopping for bargains. They’d rather pay people so much money, they melt under the pressure.

              I think Swisher may be the best bargain they got since Aaron Small.

          • Moshe Mandel

            If only we had signed Rocco- A-Rod would have someone to go to Hooters with while on the DL.

            • Mike Pop

              Not to mention. He would teach A-Rod how to tip.

              • Moshe Mandel

                It’s a lost cause- Roberts tells us that A-Rod does all of his tipping at shortstop.

                • Mike Pop


                • Matt ACTY


                • Doug


                • Aunt Becca-Optimist Prime


                • Pablo Zevallos


            • Zack

              Add Smoltz, unless three’s a crowd

  • Mike HC

    I hope Wang is truly getting healthy. It is a long season, and the Yanks will definitely need him to pitch well.

    I would also be curious to hear RAB’s thoughts on Girardi’s comments about the Selena Roberts book … … maybe he should have just said nothing?

    • Stryker

      i’m glad he said something to be honest. if he doesn’t make it clear from the get go that he doesn’t want to keep getting shit for it and just wants to focus on the team why is that a bad thing?

      i also agree with him that what athletes/celebrities do when they’re not on the court/field and not in front of a camera is their own personal time — and we shouldn’t be concerned with it.

      • Chris C.

        “i also agree with him that what athletes/celebrities do when they’re not on the court/field and not in front of a camera is their own personal time — and we shouldn’t be concerned with it.”

        Bullshit. If it involves steroids, it is certainly my business. I had no designs on paying good money to attend a ballgame to watch a bunch of cheaters. But apparently, that’s what I had done over the past 15-20 years. And if a guy really is tipping off opposing hitters as to what pitch is coming, that’s BIG NEWS.
        That shit messes with the intergiry of ballgames.

        I mean really I hope you’re not equating steroid use to dating Madonna.

    • Aunt Becca-Optimist Prime

      I agree with everything Girardi says.

      An argument can be made for time and place, but, honestly, if he didn’t address it it’d only build until he did.

      • thurdonpaul

        hi all im new to this place you guys are awesome
        can you tell me what IETC means ?

        • Mike HC

          It means “I enjoyed this comment.” I had to ask the same question down below. What a coincidence.

    • Tony

      Girardi’s comment isn’t going to fix anything, so he should have keep his mouth shut.

      • Drew

        Yeah you’re right, Girardi shouldn’t come to the defense of one of his guys. Are you kidding me dude?

        • Tony

          I don’t think he was even asked about the book. He kind of went off about it on his own. He’ll have plenty of time to come to peoples’ defenses tomorrow and 10 days from now. The Yankees had to look stupid in ST with the circus around the press conference, no need to add fuel right now.

          • Drew

            I would be willing to bet someone asked him about Al’s return and how the team will deal with the pending release of the book and all the allegations that are in it. I highly doubt he came out of nowhere and said this. He’s asked about Al everyday and I’m sure today was no different.

          • Moshe Mandel

            He was asked if he had been contacted by investigators due to the new info from the book.

            • Chris C.

              So he should have said, “No, I haven’t been contacted. So how bout this rain, eh?”

        • Chris C.

          The problem with Girardi is that he always comes off looking stupid when he defends someone.

          The other day, when addressing the AROD pitch-tipping situation, he said that players have been doing this since the beginning of baseball.
          Really???? They’ve been giving opposing players the pitches that their own pitcher is tossing?
          Girardi is either insane, or has no idea what AROD is being accused of doing.

        • Chris C.

          “Yeah you’re right, Girardi shouldn’t come to the defense of one of his guys. Are you kidding me dude?”

          With all the problems the Yankees are having to this point, THIS is the issue that makes him show the most emotion??

          I wish he’s spend more time coming to the defense of the poor baseball that the opposing teams are crushing!

  • Mike HC

    You guys will definitely think this is a stupid question, but what does IETC stand for???

    • DreDog

      I enjoyed this comment

      • Mike HC


  • A.D.

    As Jamal said above, I’m just happy that its not his arm, and sounds like they definitely think they can fix it.

  • BronxBomber44

    Could the weather be the difference between ST and the 3 regular season starts?

    • 27 this year

      Wasn’t one of the starts in Tampa’s Tropicana Field dome? That would certainly put a dent in the case.

  • Joseph M

    Something is wrong here. Last winter there was a blog (it may have been here) indicating Wang’s injury would be slow to heal and further indicating he might not be ready until after the All Star break. The question is this, did the Yankees rush him too soon and will there be any long term effects from this.

    • steve (different one)

      i don’t recall this at all.

      i recall there being talk that Wang could be back by the end of September.

      i also recall Bruney having the same injury and coming back in 3 months.

  • Bo

    This organization has a problem in diagnosing injuries. The A-Rod thing should have been taken care of in October. Marte’s shoulder issues and now Wangs problems. Those are three very important pieces that should be more carefully scrutinized.

    • Benjamin Kabak

      If you’re going to directly rip off one of Pete Abe’s most recent posts, the least you could do is say where you got your very unoriginal ideas from.

  • Pingback: Fan Confidence Poll: May 4th, 2009 | River Avenue Blues

  • KW