Extended Spring Training Start For Wang

According to Kat O’Brien, Chien-Ming Wang will make an extended spring training start on Thurday.

Chien-Ming Wang will pitch an extended spring training game Thursday in Tampa, a move the Yankees hope will finally give them some answers as to what is troubling their former ace.

Wang, who will remain on the Yankees active roster, is scheduled to throw 100 pitches in front of Yankees Tampa-based officials Mark Newman and Nardi Contreras.

This way, Joe Girardi explained, Wang can attempt to figure out what’s wrong pitching in game conditions as opposed to more bullpen sessions. Part of the problem has been that Wang has looked good in the bullpen between starts and before games, but has struggled in games.

“We think he needs to pitch,” Girardi said.

The next time the Yankees will need a fifth starter is Tuesday in Detroit. Asked who his starter is scheduled to be that day, Girardi said, “I don’t know.”

Wang, who was originally slated to pitch Friday night in Boston, was disappointed he was skipped in the rotation. “But the way I’ve pitched, I understand,” he said. Wang believes his problem is his body swinging open in his delivery.

The main thing the Yankees are looking for from Wang Thursday is “consistency with his sinker,” Girardi said.

“We’ll evaluate him after that to see what the next step is,” he said.

If Wang is eventually put on the disabled list, the top options at Triple-A are Phil Hughes and Ian Kennedy.

It appears that the Yankees will “evauluate” Wang after the start, probably more based on his stuff and his mechanics as opposed to results. Then if they feel comfortable with him, let him pitch against the Tigers on the 28th. If they do not feel comfortable with Wang, I can definetly see them calling up Hughes for the start against the Tigers, as he is lined up up for that date anyway. If you are wondering Ian Kennedy appears to be lined up for a start on the 26th.

Tsssk, tsssk, tsssk…Chien-Ming Wang

Another poor start for Wang. Many people are suggesting that he be sent to AAA to straighten himself out, yet, I disagree. At this point I would give him at least one more major league start before thinking about sending him down. The problem is that his next start is against the Red Sox on April 24. The Yankees could skip Wang’s turn because they have an off day on the 23rd, but rest has not worked in Wang’s favor throughout his career because his sinker does not sink when he is too strong. I think that Wang will rebound as long as he is healthy. I wonder if it is possible that he is too strong from all the time off with the injury. His problem is most likely a mix of his mechanics being off and a lack of confidence. Today in his first inning of work he looked like the Wang of old, pitching a 1-2-3 inning and keeping the ball down. However, in the second inning he gave up a weak swinging bunt to Hafner, then a “lucky” line-drive to Peralta, and then the homerun to Choo. The pitches to Hafner and Peralta were not bad pitches and even the pitch to Choo was a very good pitch (it just touched the outside and low corner). The trouble started after the Choo homerun which makes me think that Wang lost his confidence and as a result, lost his mechanics. I do not think pitching in AAA will get his confidence back as he probably carries too much pride and would be upset about pitching in the minors. I guess the best option right now is to just skip his start and let him get a lot of sidework in to make him a little bit tired. The Yankees could even have him in the bulpen and let him come in for an an inning or so and hopefully get his confidence back.

Update: Chien-Ming Wang could not be sent down even if the Yankees wanted to send him down. He is out of options so if they wanted to send him down he would have to go through waivers and despite his struggles every team in baseball would want to claim him.

I really do not understand options, Wang was called up once in his career and never sent down again. Plus he has not reached the five year mark, so I do not understand why he has no options. Well, whatever I don’t think sending him down would do anything anyway.