Updated: Wang to start Wednesday


Despite having the highest ERA in history for any pitcher with 20+ innings pitched and five or more starts in a single season (by over a full run, no less), Chien-Ming Wang will make another start for the Yanks according to Buster Olney’s people. Wang’s next start is scheduled for next Tuesday, but they could choose to skip him with Monday’s off day and push his start back to next Saturday. Considering that the Nationals’ team OPS is nearly 60 points higher than the Marlins’ … yeah, push him back.

Update by Ben (5:10 p.m.): While speaking with reporters prior to tonight’s Yankees/Red Sox game, Joe Girardi said that Chien-Ming Wang will start on Wednesday at home against the Nationals. The Yankees are committed to working through Wang’s problems, and he’ll get the ball while facing a team that has fared well against right-handed pitchers. Despite sporting the Majors’ worst record, the Nats have hit righties to the tune of .265/.345/.417. I hate to call any one start do-or-die, but this will be a do-or-die outing for Wang in Yankee Stadium.

Categories : Asides
  • bryanh

    this has to be a cruel joke.

    • Jake K.

      I think it’s more of a temporary stay of execution.

  • Jobamania

    Pushing him back would be idiotic. he needs to build up stamina, not just sit

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike Axisa

      He can pitch in the bullpen on Monday. Maybe he’ll actually reach his 80-85 pitch limit that way.

      • Joey

        What, the first < 3 innings aren’t good enough for you anymore? Sheesh, can never please anybody

        • King of Fruitless Hypotheticals

          Sarcasm detector failure alert:
          Jobsmania is kidding right?

    • the artist formerly known as (sic)

      His problem is not stamina. Check the velocity from his last start. He was sitting 94 and touching higher than that. His problem is between his ears, his arm slot, whatever you want to call it. Sure, he’s not 100% stamina wise, but this isn’t an arm strength issue.

  • http://theyankeeuniverse.com Moshe Mandel

    Gotta take issue with the headline. Content with losing? The club has decided that one last shot at getting their erstwhile # 2 starter going is important enough to to risk losing one game now, so as to earn some wins later if he can get his head on straight. It is really not such a ridiculous idea, and it certainly does not suggest that they are “content” with losing or ambivalent towards their place in the standings.

    • Mattingly’s Love Child

      I would agree that the headline may be a little harsh. Wang has definitely been terrible. But the Front Office panicked and brought him back too quickly and now they gotta pay the price. Wang is an asset just like Joba or Hughes. They need to protect and get the most out of that asset. Right now, sadly, it would mean another friggin start. I don’t really want to see another start, but I understand the necessity of it….

    • BklynJT

      Did Mike’d up sponsor that title? Sounds like a knee jerk short sighted statement to me.

      Nevermind, let’s just give up on Wang. All that matters is the young guns right???

    • radnom

      Exactly what I came here to say.

      “Content with losing”

      could be rephrased as

      “Viewing the long term picture, at the minor detriment of the short term”

      Him going in and getting blown out by the Nationals is a lot better than any of the other options right now. If that happens, they cross that bridge then.

    • RCK

      I agree with this perspective.

      If we really want to see if Wang can come back and be a starter, we need to start treating him like a regular starter. No one is debating whether or not A.J. Burnett should make his next start, and in fact, the explanation for his poor start on Tuesday was that he was out of his regular routine. The bull pen complained about how not being sure which inning they might pitch was enough to throw them off.

      Wang’s been in total turmoil since coming off the DL. I don’t feel like we’ve really gotten to see what he can do.

      • BklynJT

        Exactly! Never stop running out of excuses for Hughes or Joba if the do badly and can’t exile Wang to the bullpen quick enough. Seems like Wang’s getting the Melky treatment of 2 years past.

        • http://bronxbaseballdaily.com Matt ACTY/BBD

          If you can’t recognize the differences between CMW and Chamberhughes, this conversation isn’t worth having.

          • http://theyankeeuniverse.com Moshe Mandel

            Chamberhughes. I like it. Is it new?

            • http://www.riveraveblues.com Joseph Pawlikowski

              Sounds too much like Chambermaid.

            • http://bronxbaseballdaily.com Matt ACTY/BBD

              It took me a good 30 seconds to come up with an appropriate combo.

              • King of Fruitless Hypotheticals

                Are you sure it was good?!


          • BklynJT

            Wang has been very good for the Yankees in the past, and although Joba/Hughes are the future of the organization, you can’t just give up on Wang so quickly. He basically hasn’t pitched for a whole year after the injury and needs to get consistent work in to get back to what he was for us in the past.

            Our best team, this year, is with Wang pitching well in the rotation. We aren’t going to get their by putting him in the pen… we already tried that and it did work the first time. We need to see what he can do as a starter. These games are still like spring training to him with all the jerking around the Yankees have been doing with him.

            Also, if we are pitching Hughes and Joba at the same time in the rotation, they are eventually going to reach their innings limits before the end of the season… both of them. So then what, we have 2 open rotation spots to fill.

            As for your quote, I don’t see your point. It’s just a cheap shot and doesn’t explain anything. So please go on, explain…

            • http://bronxbaseballdaily.com Matt ACTY/BBD

              My point is the “excuses” people make for Hughes and Chamberlain are much more apt considering they’re both younger than 25 and much less experienced/accomplished than the significantly older CMW.

              Our best team, this year, is with Wang pitching well in the rotation.

              And, at least right now, that hasn’t happened. Wang hasn’t pitched well aside from maybe, what, 5 innings in relief this year.

              I agree with you, Wang should be in the rotation but at this point, he’s not helping himself or the team. He, and the team, was hurt by the panic move of bringing him up before his rehab time was up. Regardless, if Wang fucks this next start up, I see no point to essentially throwing away games. I’d rather let Hughes continue his development because the more innings taken away from him, the fewer innings he can throw next year, when he’ll undoubtedly be part of the rotation. Not to mention, right now, Hughes is the better pitcher and should be getting more innings.

              • BklynJT

                If Hughes doesn’t reach his innings limits this year, the Yankees have really screwed the pooch. With that said, there is no way that Chamberhughes don’t get to their limits.

                I haven’t checked the numbers, but it seems as if Hughes and Chamberlain will reach their limits too quickly if they are pitching in the rotation at the same time for the rest of the season. I know that Joba is on pace for a 180ish inning season. There should be space to fit these 3 pitchers into the 4th and 5th spot.

                As for Wang, I would look at his accomplishments and experiences as a positive for him finding his way out of this rut.

  • http://161stStreet.wordpress.com Chris A

    I think he needs to go out an throw 100 pitches for a few starts to really build his arm strength up, because it is hard to fix any other problems when he tires after 50 pitches. The problem is that he would probably get hammered while going out there and throwing 100 pitches, and he would probably give the Yankees no chance to win. However, if the Yankees did not panic and call him up after Joba got hit on the knee, Wang could have pitched for Scranton building his arm strength up, and not have to worry about winning. I believe the only way to get him back to what he used to be is a long and ugly road.

    I also think this Guidry idea from Pete Abe would help.

  • A.D.

    He has been effective in a small sample out of the pen this year…

    • Nick

      Agree. Why not let him be successful there first before you toss him in the deep end?

  • jim p

    Like it or not, we’ve got to recover Wang here in the big leagues. He seems to be missing stamina. It’s going to take, I’d guess, 4 or 5 starts before he has both strength and control.

    The options are to have him take up a bullpen spot (and if you don’t start him, why would you want him out of the bullpen), or to toss him on the scrapheap not just for this year, but next as well (since his innings will be very very low for this year).

    We’ll have to pay the price to get back a premier starter.

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Benjamin Kabak

      He wasn’t missing stamina or velocity last night. He was missing control, sink and effectiveness. I’m not sure how many times we can hear the stamina excuse before it wears off.

      • radnom


        If his strength is not 100%, he could still reach back to get up to his normal velocity at the cost of overthrowing. That would look like what you saw last night.

        I’m not sure where the “stamina” thing is comming from, but just because he is throwing 94 doesn’t mean it is completely invalid.
        Personally I think its mechanical at this point.

      • jim p

        Well, I did say “strength and control.”

        That would be arm strength, not just the ability to stand up straight. He loses velocity after 30 or 40 pitches it seems. And then control comes with arm strength. What’s his longest outing this year, major or minor league–70 pitches or so?

    • A.D.

      So he doesn’t have enough stamina to throw strikes in the 1st inning?

      • JobaWockeeZ


        If those balls were called strikes the outcome of this better would be different.

        • JobaWockeeZ

          …outcome of this better the game would be different.

        • Mattingly’s Love Child

          The strike zone last night was an amorphous blob. The same pitch in the same location was not the same call for all pitchers/hitters last night for the entire game.

          And those missed calls in the 1st weren’t right down the middle variety, most were on the corners, easily missed by a poor umpire or an umpire having a bad night (which was definitely the case last night).

          I know Wang is really scuffling bad and could use some umpire help, but he’s gotta be able to throw strikes that aren’t a question. He was so all over the place that he made it easy for a struggling ump to miss some calls.

          • Nick

            The excuses are LOL worthy.

            Face it. He stinks.

          • BklynJT

            Alot of things did not go his way yesterday.

            Bay’s potential GB makes it’s way out of the infield.
            Swisher bringing a defective glove to the field in the 2nd inning.
            Posada calling a first pitch fastball down the middle on dead red first pitch swing Lowell.

            With that said, the control yesterday was terrible

            • Am I the only Kevin?

              What other pitch would Posada call?

              Wang throws like 80% FB – he’s a one pitch pitcher.

  • yankeegirl49

    When is enough, enough?
    I know the guy was good for us, but if Im paying a guy who was good for us in the past, Id be throwing David wells out there every 5 days, Im sure he can have a better era than Wang right now. Hell, I think I might be able to have a lower era than Wang.
    Whats it going to take? A shelling by the Nats or Marlins?

    Sorry, I like Wang, I want him to do well, but this is just really frustrating and really hard to watch.

  • Jake K.

    At the risk of getting my wrist slapped for going off topic, I just want to say thanks for your tireless draft coverage, Mike. I know it’s a labor of love, but you went above and beyond the past few days.

  • http://bronxbaseballdaily.com Matt ACTY/BBD

    Well, it sucks that he’s going to be facing Adam Dunn and Co. but skipping him won’t do any good. This has to be the last straw, though. Then again, if it goes wrong and he does go back into the ‘pen, what the fuck do they do for ’10?

    • A.D.

      You could pen him this year, and then perhaps have him pitch in a winter league, but no matter make him a starter again next year when he has a full spring training to prepare.

      • http://bronxbaseballdaily.com Matt ACTY/BBD

        Aren’t there restrictions for winter ball, though? I don’t think Wang can go into one.

        • A.D.

          Not Arizona Fall, the Puerto Rican, Dominican & Venezualen leagues. As far as I know there’s no restriction on those.

          • http://www.riveraveblues.com Joseph Pawlikowski

            The AzFL absolutely has restrictions.

        • BklynJT

          Bobby Abreu used to play in winter ball didn’t he?

  • Jobamania

    Edited by RAB: This is the second straight off-topic comment by the same user I’m deleting. Three strikes and you’re out. Please review the commenting guidelines before posting again.

    • radnom


  • ChrisS

    The Yankees don’t really have any good options here other than coming up with a reason for another DL stint (strained buttocks? pulled rib while sneezing? eye infection?).

    • Jake K.

      I agree. It’s not ideal, but that’s the corner they’ve painted themselves into. Given how tight this race is likely to be all year, they need to try to straighten Wang out (I know, I know) somewhere where he won’t be losing them games. Better he take a mulligan on this season and come back ready next year than cost the team a shot at the playoffs.

  • http://forums.projectcovo.com/images/smilies/e6omir.gif OmgZombies!


  • Ivan

    This doesn’t surprise me. I mean they just put the dude in the rotation and really want to know whats up with him. I had a solid feeling the yanks would give wang a shot at the rotation.

    Nevertheless, are the yanks being fair to Hughes or to Wang here? I think yanks have done a not so good job with this at all.

    • http://bronxbaseballdaily.com Matt ACTY/BBD

      It all started with the panic move of bringing Wang up when he didn’t really need to be brought up.

      • http://bigbluepinstripes.blogspot.com/ LB

        I still can’t believe how badly the Yankees really screwed this up.

  • yankeefan91 Arod fan

    Man im preety tired of seen Wang pitch this season i wonder what the hell is wrong wit him.

  • Double T

    just heard on the Micheal Kay show that Wang is going Wed.

  • http://myspace.com/lincolnsworld Link

    I am of the school of thought, and pardon me again if this has been mentioned before as I am a frequent reader (several times daily) but infrequent commenter, that Wang has been screwed up by the way the Yankees have jerked him around, going back to his contract situation and various other incidents that they would never try to pull on any other pitcher on their staff. Yes, he has pitched abysmally this season but I think he should get as much chance to get it figured out as needed until we are more than 1 game out of first place…anyone remember Coney’s 6-18 year or whatever he went…but he still got a huge out in the playoffs and maintained his pride and dignity even though he sucked that year…the Nats are not exactly Murderer’s Row so he should be fine. On another note, I am no pitching coach but just off general observation his mechanics were all over the freaking place last night. I can virtually guarantee as soon as he recaptures his motion and release point, the results will improve. But that won’t happen with him pitching 2 starts then sitting a week, going to the bp then coming back…so on and so forth… $.02

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Benjamin Kabak

      the Nats are not exactly Murderer’s Row so he should be fine.

      I don’t really understand where this line of thinking is coming from. It ignores reality. I know the Nats are horrendously bad, but against RHP, they have the 9th best OPS in the game. The other teams higher have all teed off against Wang this year. He’s not facing a bad hitting team next week.

      • Jordan

        Nick Johnson, Ryan Zimmerman, and Adam Dunn are no small task to get out. They are legitimate major league hitters.

      • BklynJT

        At least the Yankees hitting will have a chance to score runs and thus keep us in the game or win it. If you look at it from a whole teams perspective, I think we have a better chance of winning the Nat’s game with Wang pitching than the Marlins game, given the pitching talent on the two teams.

        • Nick

          That Nat’s offense isn’t the problem.

          It’s that pen.

      • http://myspace.com/lincolnsworld Link

        Duly noted. I am not discounting their ability, I just don’t see them doing any more than anyone else has done to him this year.

    • Bill

      I agree that he was mishandled. Calling him up to pitch out of the bullpen was not a smart move. If you were concerned he wasn’t ready to rejoin the rotation you leave him in AAA until you feel he is ready.

      I also agree that Wang should pull it together, but mechanical problems don’t always go away so easily. Although according to Eiland he does everything right in the bullpen and then can’t repeat that in games.

      As for the way he has been treated. I think its hard to say he has been treated that unfairly. In contract negotiations the team just didn’t want to lock up a pitcher long term so they decided to go year-to-year with him and he kept asking for too much in arbitration which is why he didn’t get that much. Pretty much any other organization would’ve handled it the same way. It looks cruel, but its straight up business. And while the Yankees have been patient with other pitchers in the past (Cone is a good example) in those situations they didn’t have another young pitcher who the team views as a big part of their future breathing down that guy’s kneck. Despite that and despite it not being the immediate interest of the team Wang will continue to start for us. I think he’s being treated fairly. Although I do agree this situation was grossly mishandled.

      • JP

        “…mechanical problems don’t always go away so easily. Although according to Eiland he does everything right in the bullpen and then can’t repeat that in games…”

        You said a mouthful.

        There must be alot of golfers on this blog. Golf is full of guys who competed at world class level, then, inexplicably, forget how to play. Some make comebacks (Bob Tway, Corey Pavin, perhaps). Others never recover (Chip Beck, Ian Baker Finch, Seve, David Duval).

        Think about Chuck Knoblauch (ouch), or the guy the Mets had, who couldn’t throw the ball back to the pitcher (Macky Sasser?). Steve Sax…why do the Yankees collect players like this?

        Weird things happen between brain and muscles. Many people are hanging on the belief that this is all injury-related. Maybe so. I hope so, because it gives us a reason to expect a recovery, maybe a full recovery. But as Ben pointed out, his decline debuted before his injury, and although he was apparently on the road to recovery in that fateful Houston game, and the preceding game, we don’t know if the recovery would have been short lived, and the collapse was real. Here’s something else to chew on: anyone notice how the injury was almost a phantom one, like Clay’s knockout punch on Liston? He seemed to slip, a little, on the base, but certainly not anything that would cause a season ending, serious ligament injury. In fact, at the time, I seem to remember the announcers remarking that they really couldn’t see what, exactly, happened.

        I’m an MD, so I’m not just shooting my mouth off (well, ok, I am, but it’s an educated shooting), but maybe the foot injury was a chronic thing that started long before the Houston game, that was just the last straw that fubar’ed the joint for good. Maybe this is a long term structural problem that isn’t going to go away.

        Or, maybe it’s all mental. Sometimes that stuff doesn’t go away, either.

    • JP

      “…Wang has been screwed up by the way the Yankees have jerked him around…”

      I don’t necessarily agree, but I’ll go along with the assertion that it was a mistake, and very premature, to put him back on the MLB roster the night Joba got hit with the line drive.

      Ok, he wasn’t ready then.

      But since then, he’s had a few relief appearances and two starts? How much more would he have rehabbed in the minors? He’s had plenty of time, now, with bullpen sessions. This is not a valid excuse for his performance anymore.

      Did he need the confidence boost of being able to get AAA or AA hitters out? Ok, I’ll give you that one. Maybe throwing him against MLB hitters before he was fully prepared struck a blow to his confidence. But we’re not talking about Ian Kennedy or Mark Melancon. We’re talking about an MLB veteran who had dominated MLB hitters over multiple seasons. If his confidence is so shaken that he needs to be built up at AAA, there are serious problems with his psyche.

      I really hope he recovers. I hope his ardent supporters are right, and that he will return as a front of rotation force.

      But there is little, to nothing, that’s happened with him this season which is cause for optimism.

  • cult of basebaal

    seriously, though … doesn’t everyone think that CMW could use a couple of weeks of R. Lee Ermey’s special kind of loving treatment?


    In Japan, they’d already have shipped him off to a mountain retreat to chant team songs while sitting naked under a frigid waterfall until his fighting spirit was restored …

    • JP

      I’d say maybe a better thing would be for him to visit Hideki’s apartment (preferably his bachelor pad, not his married man love nest) and check out the video collection.

      Wang’s wife is pregnant, after all…in all likelihood the playground is closed.

  • http://bigbluepinstripes.blogspot.com/ LB

    Let’s see what happens. They have to get Wang on the right path somehow. I don’t love this move, but not my call to make. Here’s hoping for the best.
    This whole situation just blows.

  • I Remember Celerino Sanchez

    Am I okay with the Yanks giving Wang another start? Yes.

    Do I wish it wasn’t Wednesday when I have tickets to go to the game? Yes.

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Benjamin Kabak

      Oh crap. I just realized that I’m in the same boat. Me too.

      • I Remember Celerino Sanchez

        It’s like a NIMBY scenario. I want the prison/waste treatment plant/rehab center built, but not in my backyard!

        I guess it just means we have to put our Yankee tix where our mouths are.

        • yankeegirl49

          Oh shit..Im there too.

  • Chris V.

    I think they should give Wang at least 3 more starts before moving him to the bullpen. The Yankees need Wang and a lot of people on here sound like Franscessa when it comes to Wang. I see a guy who is struggling out there but I still see the same stuff the guy had from 06-08, just not the control and consistency. Giving up on Wang is completely short sighted and unbelievably stupid.

    • Jake K.

      No one here is advocating to completely give up on him. The problem is that so far he isn’t giving the team any chance to win. Yes, it’s still early, but losses in June still count. Do you risk losing out on the playoffs in the hopes that his next start is the one where it all clicks? To me, there’s no real good solution here.

      • Chris V.

        I agree there is no easy answer. However since he has been back the Yankees are 1-1. If they go 1-2 in his next three starts and from that point on they go something like 8-4 or 9-3 it will have been worth it (normal wang). He deserves more chances, and since the Yankees have played well enough to be in the playoffs as of today, they should give him those chances.

    • JP

      Giving up on Wang is completely short sighted and unbelievably stupid. Can’t say you’re wrong, and I really hope you are right.

      I see a guy who is struggling out there but I still see the same stuff the guy had from 06-08…


  • Andy

    This move makes the most sense. Anyone who has ever pitched understands the importance of confidence, particularly the confidence of your coach, and the Yanks have to show confidence in him, at least for a little while longer. Otherwise, he becomes either a drain on the 25 man or a trade candidate for 10 cents on the dollar. I have more hope he’ll come around with a decent outing against a National League team than I do that a stint in the pen will help him figure things out. I have always felt he was a bit overrated, but I am all for giving the man one more shot against lesser competition.

    • Double T

      Hopefully that confidence will extend to the rest of the team and we can get on a roll. We’ve seen flashes of Wang’s good stuff I really want Wang to do well and put it together.

  • Nick

    So chalk up another 3 inning effort and a loss. Thanks Clueless Joe for making my Wed tickets worthless now.

  • JP

    I’m not going to start again…I want him to prove me wrong, anyway.

    This post, from fackyouk, is one of the finest baseball blog posts I’ve ever read. Talk about poignant.


  • http://bigbluepinstripes.blogspot.com/ LB

    Listening to Kay right now, so his wife is going to be induced on Tues and he makes his start on Wed? Gonna be a busy week for Wang.

  • Nick

    Now Wang gets another excuse as to why he couldn’t last 4 innings. He’s tired from his wife giving birth. First it was stamina, then the foot, then velocity, then pitching coach, then they messed with his schedule, the umps are blind, he can’t pitch in boston, yadda yadda

    Let Hughes start and let Wang earn his way back out of the pen as the long man.

  • jsbrendog

    my god. can alll you wang sucks people get off the bangwagon? he doesnt suck. he is doing very very poorly right now. you cannot say someone with his history sucks/stinks/is finished until it has been multiple years, failed combacks, releases, etc. he is by no means failed, done, washed up, or stinks. for god sakes. i cant even read the crap ppl are writing.

    • JP

      Fair enough. Does it really have to be multiple years, though? I mean, does, say, an entire season with an ERA of 14 and an inability to pitch into the 4th/5th inning qualify for suck status?

      Please, CMW, pitch well, soon, and shut me up.

  • Bill

    if wang continues to get blasted in his next 2-4 starts, hughes has to be put in the rotation. wang looked great in the bullpen earlier, maybe he can have a year like david cone in 2000 and get some big outs for us outta the pen. also, this may be off topic (sorry), but there’s a youtube video of yankees pick deangelo mack hitting a absolute bomb of a homerun. you guys might wanna check that out

    • steve

      that was a bomb

  • dkidd

    what choice do they have? joba can’t stay in the rotation for the whole year. it’s get wang fixed or we’re back in the ponson/rasner nightmare

  • E-ROC

    I disagree with the decision. Maybe some home cooking will do him some good.

    • jsbrendog

      maybe its cause hes not getting laid cause the wife is knocked up……

      • E-ROC

        Blue balls!

  • Jose

    Wang: 14.34 ERA / 21.1 IP / 2.672 WHIP / .500 BAbip
    Pitcher X: 10.64 ERA / 67.2 IP / 2.202 WHIP / .380 BAbip

    This helps me sleep at night. I know this is a horrible comparison, but I’ll do whatever it takes to make myself feel better about the Wang situation. Pitcher X is Roy Halladay. I’ve lost my sanity…

    • Axl aka Tom Selleck

      Ok? But how old was “Pitcher X” (Roy) when he had those numbers? Wang is nearing 30.

      • Jose

        Stop ruining my insane fantasies.

        • Axl aka Tom Selleck

          lol. Sorry. I just don’t really see anything good in the near future with Wang. We’re only wasting valuable starts and games.

          • Jose

            Yeah, you’re probably right. You are being much more of a realist than me. This whole situation will just get a whole lot worse.

  • Axl aka Tom Selleck

    Well it was nice knowing Girardi…he had ample opportunities though. Oh well…time to move on…

  • Pingback: YankeesVine » Blog Archive » Wang will make another start

  • mustang

    “BklynJT says:
    June 11th, 2009 at 5:05 pm
    Exactly! Never stop running out of excuses for Hughes or Joba if the do badly and can’t exile Wang to the bullpen quick enough. Seems like Wang’s getting the Melky treatment of 2 years past.’

    SOOOOOO True.

    From yesterdays Game thread:
    “If I am giving the ball to someone on Tuesday, it is Phil Hughes.”

    Like RAB would consider anyone else…lol.

    Still I think Mr. wang days are numbered if he keeps this up, but I’m glad to see that the Yankees not giving up on him. The same way they didn’t give up on certain young pitchers who struggle last season.