The New York Yankees have just confirmed that pitcher Ivan Nova is going to be on the DL, and they have brought up Triple-A pitcher Vidal Nuno.
Nuno had a fantastic Spring Training with the Yankees and has pitched well so far this season, posting a 1.54 ERA through four games and already notching 26 strikeouts. But that was in Triple-A, and to bring someone in with no major league experience over someone like Chien Ming Wang, who has an established MLB career, seems counterproductive.
New York should give Nuno some more time to prove his worth in his first season in Triple-A, and give Wang a chance to show that he can replicate even a fraction of his early success with the Yankees.
Wang, of course, is not without his issues. He has been plagued with injuries since 2008 after stellar seasons in 2006 and 2007, finishing second in AL Cy Young voting in 2006. Despite years of struggles, the Yankees signed him to a minor league contract this year, and he seems healthy and ready to pitch again. He has pitched well in his two starts at Scranton this season with an ERA under one.
Obviously, it’s a small sample to judge, but the fact is that he has the major league experience and temperament already and there is no harm in recalling him, letting him get a start and seeing where he can go from there.
Wang will be a free agent if he does not get called up to the majors by the end of April, and if the Yankees were willing to give him a second chance with the minor league contract, they should go all the way and give him a second chance to start.
His pitches are still there; his two-seamer still looks like it can sink and create the ground ball outs he was known for, and bringing him up while keeping Phelps as a long relief man seems to be the safest bet at the moment.
And if it doesn’t work, you always have Nuno, who is still getting better in Triple-A.