When Chien-Ming Wang came over from Taiwan to play for the New York Yankees starting in the 2005 season, there were high hopes that he would develop into a longtime ace.
He had back-to-back seasons in 2006 and 2007 with 19 wins and started off the 2008 season 8-2 before suffering a foot injury while running the bases. He has not been the same since, going 1-6 with a 9.64 ERA in 2009 and was out of the majors in 2010. He tried to make a comeback with the Washington Nationals in 2011 and 2012, but he went 6-6 with a 4.92 ERA.
Now after being released from his minor league contract by the Yankees, Wang will make his 2013 major league debut for the Toronto Blue Jays tonight. He will try to help a Blue Jays starting rotation that has been one of the most disappointing in baseball.
After spending a ton of money in free agency and trades, the Blue Jays have struggled all year long with their starting pitching. Injuries and poor performance have led to Mark Buehrle, R.A. Dickey, Brandon Morrow, Josh Johnson and J.A. Happ all having ERAs over 4.91. With Morrow and Happ currently on the DL and Johnson just recently returning, the Blue Jays are running out of options.
They have nothing to lose by sending Wang to the mound, as they have already had Ramon Ortiz, Chad Jenkins and Esmil Rogers make starts for them this year. He will take on a Chicago White Sox lineup that struggles to score runs (27th in MLB). When Wang was at his best, his sinker was effective and he would get ground ball outs and avoid giving up the home run.
With guys like Adam Dunn and Alex Rios in the lineup, keeping the ball down will be the key for Wang to stick around in the majors this time.