Wednesday, April 22, 2009

So, what is next for Wang?

Yankees has decided to skip Wang's turn at Fenway park. A move I agree with because Wang and Yankees need to fix his problems before making another start, not because of first series against Boston Red Sox and Wang's bad statistics against them.

So, what is next for Wang now? Girardi is supposed to announce how Yankees deal with Wang's next step today. This is my take. Let wait and see whether we agree with each other or not.

Let me say this first. It is not easy to replace No.3 starting pitcher who usually wins at least 19 wins at AL East when he is healthy with 200 innings and sub 4 ERA. You don't give up this kind of pitcher after three terrible starts when you consider he is young and just comes back from injury. Not to mention, Yankees still can control three more years at relatively low price. Yankees can't just throw him away that a lot of short-sighted Yankees fans want to do now.

Yankees will need Wang eventually. Pettitte is not young anymore. Joba has innings limited and had his own minor injury last season. We all know A.J's rich injury history. Even for CC, he hasn't been himself yet. Yankees need to fix Wang and get him right as soon as possible. Wang actually shows signs of improvement during his last start against Indians. He throws more good pitches with more movement and velocity at good location.

Yankees needs to figure out ways to let Wang keep pitching in order to get his mechanics right and build up his arm strength. Because Wang has no option left and hasn't had long enough service time in order to get his permission to send down. There is no way Wang can clear the waiver before sending down to minors. The only way is to make up "injury". However, the way Girardi, Eliand and Wang acts, it will be difficult to come up and suddenly say Wang is injured because no one will take Girardi, Eliand and Wang seriously any more. Assuming Wang doesn't find out he is injured suddenly, Wang will be on the big league team. Because of that, we need to fix him as soon as possible. But, don't send him out to the mound before he proves he corrects problems.

This is what I will do.

Firstly, Wang usually throws two bullpen sections between starts. I will let him ready to come in game if the situation is called for. First bullpen section will be around 50 pitches while second bullpen section will be around 25 pitches. For example, Andy will start tonight game which will be the day Wang throws his second bullpen section.

Secondly, let Wang start a minor league game on Thursday(April 23th)which is off day. If Wang corrects his problems, let him start April 28th against Tigers. At the same time, get a long man ready. If Wang pitches decently that game, he should be back to rotation. If Wang is not able to correct his problems after starting on Thursday, get Hughes or whoever pitches best on AAA now to pitch April 28th.

At that point, Girardi, Eliand and Wang may have to bite the bullet and then make up "injury" in order to get on DL. Or, going few more turns in the minor leagues to see if Wang improves his start. Or, let Wang be a long man to get his work in when someone get knocked out of game. Among these three options, I will prefer to put Wang on DL in order to get someone up to help Yankees in the bullpen while Wang can get his regular work in at minor league.

Let Wang get his work in at minor league games until he corrects his problems. Yankees should be able to solve Wang's problems on way or the other.

1 comment:

MJB said...

I agree that Wang is the key to the Yankees. They need him to get right. People were very quick to dismiss his importance, even before the season started, and now his problems are adding fuel to the fire for those who want him gone. That would be a crazy idea! Luckily, Cashman is smarter than most fans and isn't so short-sighted.

As for what to do? I think you are right about trying to work it out while he misses a start against Boston. This is a good idea. No Yankee fans want to see Wang have another bad outing, but against Boston would be even worse. There is hope from the pitching staff (Wang, Bruney) and coaching staff that it is fixable; Great! As for the minor league starting idea...apparently, Wang is out of options and he can't go there unless placed on the DL. If he doesn't look like he has corrected his problems during his missed start, I think they'll finally send him to the doctor, maybe an MRI, and put him on the DL (either with "invented" injury or real one).

Its certainly no time to panic! The season just started, the Yankees are over 500 and now Wang needs to concentrate on getting better. Hopefully, the rest of the staff holds up. They've been pretty good (except for some very poor bullpen outings) so far, so its not time to worry yet.