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.