Another day, another unexpected name joining the Toronto Blue Jays‘ pitching carousel.
Except this time, the help is going to come from outside of the organization in the form of … drumroll, please … Chien-Ming Wang:
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) June 7, 2013
If you’d predicted at the beginning of the 2013 season that the Blue Jays rotation would have, at some point, included (though not together) Ramon Ortiz, Chad Jenkins, Esmil Rogers and Wang, you’re either a terrible liar or you should really get on buying those lottery tickets.
As you may recall, Wang generated a bit of buzz during the WBC, as his latest attempt to come back to the bigs saw him pitch 12 stellar scoreless innings for the Chinese Taipei squad, with the righty allowing just 10 hits and one walk while striking out three.
The veteran groundballer has since carried that success with the New York Yankees organization in the Triple-A level, making nine starts and posting a 2.33/1.16 ERA/WHIP through 58 IP. In fact, he’s coming off a pair of scoreless seven-inning gems over his last two outings, having allowed just eight his and three walks over his last 14 IP.
Even better? His home run rate, otherwise known as his bread and butter when it’s good and Achilles’ heel when it’s not, is at a vintage 0.31 HR/9.
More than the minor league results, though, the most important thing about Wang might be that he’s actually pitching this far into games, and throwing this many innings on a regular rotation without being hurt.
That might not sound like a lot, but considering that the 112.1 innings combined between all levels in 2012 was the most he’d thrown since 2007 without any problems flaring up with his shoulder (even then, a hamstring injury and a bad hip effectively ended his comeback attempt last season), durability is arguably a much bigger issue than ability for Wang.
Will the former Cy Young runner-up be able to provide some stability to the non-stop line of pitchers that the Blue Jays have used to start games at this point?
That remains to be seen, but even if the 33-year-old’s time with Toronto is short-lived, at least the team will have possibly the most juvenile starting rotation to remember him by:
Of course Dickey, Johnson and Wang play for the BJ’s. Just like the pun gods planned it.
— Gruber’s Mullet (@GrubersMullet) June 7, 2013