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Chien-Ming Wang makes first professional start since July of 2009

Jun 27, 2011, 9:32 PM EDT

wang pose

Davey Johnson is understandably grabbing most of the headlines at the moment, but another item of significance to the Nationals went down in Hagerstown, Maryland earlier this evening.

Mark Zuckerman of CSNWashington reports that Chien-Ming Wang allowed two runs on four hits over three innings in his first minor league rehab start with Class A Hagerstown. On the long road back from shoulder surgery, this was his first professional appearance of any kind since July 4, 2009 as a member of the Yankees.

Wang threw 49 pitches while striking out three, walking none and and hitting a batter. Those numbers don’t tell us much, but one encouraging tidbit is that six of his nine outs were recorded via the groundball.

Amanda Comak of the Washington Times reports that the 31-year-old right-hander topped out at 90 mph during tonight’s outing, but mostly sat in the 86-88 mph range. Wang averaged just over 93 mph on his fastball back in 2006, but was at 91.8 mph with his heater in 2008 and 2009.

The Nationals have been extra patient with Wang over the past 17 months, so don’t look for that to change now. He’s going to need to make it through several rehab outings in one piece before having a realistic shot at pitching in the major leagues again.

  1. yankeesfanlen - Jun 27, 2011 at 9:44 PM

    I go AAAAAAARRRRRGGGGHH every time I think of interleague play because of this man.

  2. pisano - Jun 27, 2011 at 9:53 PM

    I wouldn’t hold out too much hope for him. It’s a damn shame, because he was a horse for the Yankees before the injury. I hope the best for him he was stopper for the Yanks. Good Luck to him.

  3. kinggeorge96 - Jun 27, 2011 at 10:00 PM

    I wish they had held on to him… if he’s ever healthy again he’ll be a groundball machine.

  4. virusgvr - Jun 28, 2011 at 2:42 AM

    I gotta say that when I saw this article I raised my eyes. First off I thought this guy was to never be heard from again. It would be really nice to see him make it back to the majors after such a long layoff. I do have to say that it was pretty funny watching his ERA shoot through the roof back in 2009. I think it got up to like 21 or something.

  5. Kevin S. - Jun 28, 2011 at 9:05 AM

    Here’s to hoping the Wanger can make it back to the bigs as an effective starter. He was never the ace some of my fellow Yankee fans made him out to be, but his solid control along with his extreme ground-ball tendencies made for a pretty good pitcher. Best of luck, buddy.

    • phukyouk - Jun 28, 2011 at 9:19 AM

      back to back 19 win seasons with an 18win before that = ACE

      • Kevin S. - Jun 28, 2011 at 9:38 AM

        No, that simply means a good pitcher with a great offense will produce gaudy win totals. It’s why pitcher record is a terrible way of evaluating pitchers.

      • phukyouk - Jun 28, 2011 at 10:30 AM

        he had a 3.63, 370, 4.07 ERA before getting injured. how does that translate into great offense?

      • Kevin S. - Jun 28, 2011 at 10:42 AM

        Because he was second in the league in Run Support in 2007, and pretty high up there in 2006 as well? I said he was a pretty good pitcher, not a great one Those ERA’s support my point, not disprove it. Being a solid #2 has no shame involved, and that’s what Wang was. My point was only that he “won” so many games because he had a great offense behind him as well as being a good pitcher.

      • phukyouk - Jun 28, 2011 at 11:24 AM

        so at that time who was the Ace of the yanks staff? Moose? Randy Johnson? andy wasnt on the yanks at the time so who was it? it was Wang… im not saying that hes an Ace on any staff but those yrs he WAS the yanks ace.

      • Kevin S. - Jun 28, 2011 at 12:34 PM

        Then we are definitely arguing two different definitions of “ace.” I’d argue that the Yankees didn’t really have an ace in the middle of the decade. Likewise, I would argue the Phillies currently have three. It would seem to me that you would argue that Roy Halladay is an ace, because he’s the best pitcher on the staff, but that Cliff Lee and Cole Hamels are not aces. Is that correct? I understand that is a usage, but for me, I can’t get behind the idea that each team has one and only one ace on its staff.

      • phukyouk - Jun 28, 2011 at 12:58 PM

        If i have a million Dollars and you have a million and 1 who’s richer? all im saying is that every team has ONE ace no matter how good or bad. Wang was that ace at the time. Doc IS the ace of the Phillies staff plain and simple. if he goes down for the season and Oswalt makes a miraculous recovery Philly would still be in a shiton of trouble as opposed to Hamels or Lee going down.

  6. foreverchipper10 - Jun 28, 2011 at 11:38 AM

    At 31 if he can get healthy he should still have a few good years left to contribute to what is a promising Nationals roster. Slot him after Strasberg and Zimmermann. Quite the solid top 3 in the rotation.

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