May
03

Wang, Yanks blame foot for ineffectiveness

By

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

64 Comments»

  1. ClayBuchholzLovesLaptops says:

    “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 says:

      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 says:

        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 says:

      Thirded.

      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 says:

      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 says:

      Maybe the weather? Cold NY compared to warm FL?

    • yankees=warriors says:

      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.

  2. Accent Shallow says:

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

  3. Jamal G. says:

    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.

  4. Joey H says:

    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.

  5. JobaWockeeZ says:

    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 says:

      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 says:

      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.

    • 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 says:

        I wish we had that problem in the bullpen…

      • Chris C. says:

        “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.

  6. Moshe Mandel says:

    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.

    /
    Lohuded

  7. Mike HC says:

    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 … http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/.....id=4131450 … maybe he should have just said nothing?

    • Stryker says:

      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. says:

        “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.

    • 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.

    • Tony says:

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

      • Drew says:

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

        • Tony says:

          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 says:

            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 says:

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

        • Chris C. says:

          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. says:

          “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!

  8. Mike HC says:

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

  9. A.D. says:

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

  10. BronxBomber44 says:

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

    • 27 this year says:

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

  11. Joseph M says:

    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) says:

      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.

  12. Bo says:

    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.

  13. [...] Alex Rodriguez returned to game action and could be back with the team ahead of schedule. Chien-Ming Wang is also working his way back. [...]

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