Wang nearing return to Majors
After finishing their road trip in California yesterday, the Nationals get a well-deserved day off. But that doesn’t mean that there isn’t anything to get excited about. This coming homestand, fans may be able to finally see the long-awaited return of Chien-Ming Wang to the mound.
Wang, who first signed with Washington as a free agent in early 2010, has spent the last two seasons recovering from shoulder surgery. In his most recent rehabilitation start at Triple-A Syracuse, Wang threw 96 pitches over five innings, and 63 of those were strikes. Depending on how he feels today, he may finally be activated from the disabled list and be able to pitch on Friday.
Wang has not pitched in the Majors since the 2009 season, when he was with the New York Yankees. He originally signed with New York as an amateur free agent before the 2000 season. He is only the fourth Major Leaguer from Taiwan, joining the likes of Chin-Feng Chen, Chin-Hui Tsao and Hong-Chih Kuo.
Wang played for the Yankees from 2005-2009, and was considered the ace of their staff in 2006 and 2007. In both of those seasons he won 19 games, finishing amongst the Major League leaders in wins. In 2006, he finished second to Johan Santana in the voting for the American League Cy Young Award, and he finished in the top 10 of voting for the AL MVP Award. In 2007 he continued to play superbly, finishing with a .731 win percentage and a perfect 1.000 fielding percentage.
Despite the overwhelming positives, Wang has struggled to recover from a number of injuries that plagued him in 2008 and 2009—a pulled hamstring, torn ligaments in his right foot, as well as his previously mentioned shoulder issues—but has so far proven he’s recovered during his time in the Minors. His velocity has been back to where it was before, as his fastball has been clocked in the low-to-mid 90s.
No official announcement has been made regarding Wang’s return to the Big Leagues, though, given his progress since last year, it’s likely to happen sooner than later. If he returns to the rotation during this homestand, another player would have to be sent down in order to make room. Keep following us and check back here for any further news regarding Wang.