What the #$@#!&#!! are the Yankees doing with Chien-Ming Wang?

You’d think that any problems with your number 2 starter would be watched very, very carefully.  You would think that a young, inexpensive pitcher who throws a 95mph sinker would merit some special attention. You’d think that rehabilitation for a guy that won 19 games in back-to-back seasons despite being a ground ball pitcher backed by the worst defense in recent memory would be of the highest priority for your baseball team.  Why is it, then, that the New York Yankees don’t even seem to have a plan (or a clue) when it comes to the health of Chien-Ming Wang?

First they completely chowder his initial rehab, despite having almost SEVEN MONTHS to rehab.  The guy was soft-tossing on OCTOBER 17th, for @#$$’s sake.  Yet it took the 3 worst back-to-back-to-back starts in baseball history to recognize that something was off in his rehab!!

Next, they put him on the D.L. and begin a rehab assignment in extended Spring Training, culminating in AAA Scranton Wilkes-Barre with 13 scoreless innings, but still a noticeable lack of his traditional velocity.  This is fine, he’s getting better, but he’s clearly not quite back to his old self, yet.  This was Ma7 17th.

So now the Yankees feel that his stuff is not quite recovered enough yet to get out major league hitters, so they decide to give him at least one more AAA start on his regular rest for May 22.  This is when all Hell breaks loose and Joba’s bruise makes the Yankee Brass believe that they’ve been entirely too logical and careful with Wang the last few weeks and they need to return to their systematic campaign of screwing with his head.

“Let’s turn a perpetual Cy Young contender into Dan Giese!” Cashman apparently said to himself and cancelled Wang’s scheduled start so that he could languish in the Yankee bullpen, picking splinters out of his rear instead.  This was TEN days ago, or two scheduled starts.  To add insult to injury, Joe Girardi proved last night that he has no intention of actually USING the Wanger in a long relief role, preferring Alfredo Aceves.  So why is he here, exactly, missing two possible rehab starts?  It sure beats the heck out of me.  Why are they treating this guy like he’s a 40 year-old unwanted journeyman relief pitcher instead of one of the best pitchers in baseball when healthy?  What the heck is going on here?  Does anyone have any idea, because I sure don’t.

24 thoughts on “What the #$@#!&#!! are the Yankees doing with Chien-Ming Wang?

  1. Chip

    I completely agree with everything you said. This is a travesty to have him just sitting in the bullpen. If you don’t think he has the stuff to get major league hitters out, send him to extended spring training so he can at least pitch! Honestly, if he doesn’t get some innings in tonight, I’m going to lose it. I’d tell my agent to get on the phone and tell the Yankees to either pitch him somewhere or trade him immediately

    • Tom Gaffney

      Yeah, I hate to be a hater while the Yanks are running good, but they seem to be absolutely squandering one of their biggest assets, here. That’s not smart business and it’s going to come back to bite them.

  2. StandingO'Neill

    I seriously doubt what I’m about to write, but hey anything is possible right?

    Perhaps the Yankees are working on a deal to trade Wang, and they are afraid to pitch him since he could either pitch really poorly or get injured, thus killing a potential deal. Obviously I’m reachig here, but who knows. This whole situation is strange.

    • Ron E.

      It’s definitely strange, but I think what makes it difficult is Phil Hughes. When Wang is on and effective, what’s not to like, but I think Hughes is considered a bigger part of the future than Wang is.

      • Tom Gaffney

        very true and I love me my Phil Phranchise, but that’s sort of my point. Why are they being so careful with some guys, but letting Wang just twist in the wind?

        • Ron E.

          It wouldn’t surprise me if the team is down on Wang. They’d be wrong to undervalue him, because we’ve all seen what he can do, but Wang picked a bad time to struggle like he did.

          • Tom Gaffney

            I seriously wonder if he’s not getting badmouthed by someone in the organization that’s trying to avoid taking the heat for not doing their job. This whole Wang rehab has been such a cluster#$#@ of miscommunication and mismanagement that there are probably lots of fingers being pointed all around

  3. Tom Gaffney

    I think Wang is way too much to give up for Steinburg. Steven STRASburg, on the other hand – that kid’s a stud! :-)

  4. Chip

    But why recall him immediately? Yeah they were going to be a bit short the next night but why not just pull Robertson or Melancon (or both) up from AAA? It’s not like they had to jump to conclusions with Joba as he wasn’t going to be starting for another 4 games. It would have made more sense had they thrown Wang in there last night in the fifth and let him finish the game (or at least try to) but now he’s just sitting there. Furthermore, if they’re just going to waste the roster spot and have him sit there anyway, why not have him starting in EST where they wouldn’t have to option him down?

  5. Steve

    I wish they would trade him to Washington for the rights to Steinburg!

  6. I was astonished when he was called up in the first place but, thought they brought him up to pitch in long spots. What happened? Sometimes I wonder the name of the kid running the team, it sure isn’t an adult.
    I hope they know something we don’t.

  7. Tom Gaffney

    Maybe, but I can’t imagine that him sitting in the bullpen is going to enhance his trade value

  8. The Scout

    As I recall, they brought Wang back in the event Chamberlain could not make a scheduled start or only worked a short stint. Once they did, Wang, who has no options, could not be sent to the minors. They could have disabled him again, but that would have kept him out for at least two weeks. Likely they expected to replace Hughes with him, but Phil messed with that plan, too, by pitching well in consecutive starts. The point: what seemed a necessary precaution at the time turned out to be unnecessary, and the team backed itself into a corner. I won’t say it was handled brilliantly, but there was a certain logic to it when no other AAA starter seemed ready to contribute.

    • Moshe Mandel

      Joba said that night that he would pitch his next start. It6 was a hasty move and ill thought out.

    • Tom Gaffney

      There is a thread of logic to it, yes, Scout. I just wonder about why Wang gets yanked around like this while other pitchers get handled with the kiddies of kid gloves.

  9. Leftylarry

    What’s the big deal?????

    It isn’t even June yet and clearly Wang ISN’T Wang.
    They should have put him in a swimming pool if he can’t run, to get him in better shape.
    He’ll be fine by July/August/Sept at any rate, when we really need him, fresh too. Joba will go to the pen and Wang and Hughes will be mainstays in the rotation.
    Nothing to get overly excited about.

    • Chip

      The big deal is that they’re completely screwing the pooch here. For a team who has had problems over-using their bullpen this season, it’s just stupid to have a guy out there that just can’t contribute. This wouldn’t be an issue if he were actually used as a long reliever say when Joba went only 4 innings last night.

      And, we don’t know that he’ll be fine by July/August/Sept. He has to work through these issues at some point and letting him just sit there isn’t doing that. And Joba might not spend any time in the bullpen this year (possibly just in the bullpen) as they want to groom him as a starter and make sure he gets all his innings in

    • Tom Gaffney

      I think it’s always a concern when it appears as if the organization is making hasty, knee jerk decisions with their most valuable commodities. There doesn’t ever appear to be a proactive plan with Wanger. He’s in a position, now, where he should have been 4-5 months ago. All these hiccups should have been smoothed out during the off-season and pre-season. There seems to be a pattern of stupidity and carelessness regarding decisions made about Wang.

  10. I agree about the lack of adults making these decisions-it’s like Yankee mgmt thinks this is an APBA league or something.
    Since both Joba & Hughes are on innings limits, why not shoehorn in Wang alternately for their starts? Have whichever of them he’s replacing throw a couple innings out of the BP when they’re bypassed.
    I wonder if both Joba and Phil are going to be overused this year.

    Last year, I thought Girardi was a very good manager. This year I’m beginning to wonder if last year was a fluke.

    • Chip

      Hard to say that Girardi has been a bad manager when he’s dealt with a bullpen that can’t throw strikes and injuries to every starter outside of Swisher, Damon and Cano yet are only a game back of first place.

  11. Kareem

    If he not going to use CMW as a long man, what are they going to use him for, he will be taking up a space for a reliever we can use, if they were so paranoid about Joba getting hit with ball and missing his next start, why not start Aceves? he was a starter, I agree they are wasting one of our biggest assests, seems like once we signed CC and AJ, it was like CMW became a afterthought

  12. The Scout

    Pitchers always say they’ll make their next start. Given the Yankees history of caution with injuries ot young pitchers, they were right to be concerned and not take Joba’s word at face value. And they wanted someone who might give them a number of innings if needed, which short relievers such as Robertson were unlikely to do. That still doesn’t make it a smart move — especially given the organizations’s own expressed doubts that Wang was ready to contribute — but it was not an irrational or impulsive one.

  13. Leftylarry

    Wang will play a major role before it’s over.Anybody ever win a pennant in May ?

  14. Alan

    They are screwing with an asset and wasting a bench spot, what is there to like? They put themselves in a bind the moment they recalled Wang, as he is out of options. You really like the odds of AJ Burnett replacing those 19 wins (not to mention innings) every year?

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