Saturday, February 26, 2011

Wang to face minor-leaguers Friday

Read my updated story, with observations from today's live BP session and quotes from Chien-Ming Wang and Steve McCatty, on

VIERA, Fla. -- Chien-Ming Wang, attempting to pitch for the Nationals this season after missing all of 2010 recovering from shoulder surgery, will make his first spring training appearance next week against minor leaguers.

Wang is slated to pitch at least one inning Friday in an intrasquad game featuring members of the Nationals' accelerated minor-league program. It will be his first game appearance since a pair of one-inning outings in the Florida instructional league in October.

The Nationals hope Wang, who had major surgery to repair his right shoulder socket in 2009, will be ready to pitch in official Grapefruit League games soon but didn't want to thrust him into that fire quite yet.

"It's uncharted waters recovering from that operation," manager Jim Riggleman said. "We're just being ultra-conservative and not going to put him out there against somebody in the other uniform yet, where maybe the adrenaline might be flowing a little bit harder and at a little higher level. This is a little more controlled atmosphere to put him in."

Wang, who was re-signed over the winter to a $1 million contract that also includes a number of incentives based on games pitched, has been participating in full so far this spring. He's thrown several times off bullpen mounds and has seen his velocity increase with each appearance. He also faced live hitters earlier this week for the first time.

Though the Taiwanese hurler has expressed a desire to be ready to open the regular season in the majors, it appears he's more likely to begin on the disabled list so he can make rehab appearances in the minor leagues.

Meanwhile, we've got the Nationals' starting lineup for Monday's exhibition opener against the Mets:

CF Nyjer Morgan
SS Ian Desmond
LF Roger Bernadina
RF Michael Morse
DH Matt Stairs
C Wilson Ramos
1B Kevin Barker
2B Danny Espinosa
3B Jerry Hairston

Chad Gaudin is slated to start, followed by Craig Stammen, Brian Broderick, Doug Slaten and Todd Coffey.

Jesus Flores will make the trip to Port St. Lucie and will catch the second half of the game, Riggleman said.

Tuesday's home opener against the Mets at Space Coast Stadium is expected to feature more regular position players, including Ryan Zimmerman, Jayson Werth and Adam LaRoche. Livan Hernandez will start that game, followed by Ross Detwiler, Collin Balester, Cole Kimball, Tyler Clippard and Drew Storen.

John Lannan starts Wednesday against the Marlins, followed by Yunesky Maya, J.D. Martin, Atahualpa Severino and Sean Burnett.


Anonymous8 said...

Is it Kevin Barker at 1st or Jeff Barker the Baltimore Sun Sportwriter?

Mark'd said...

Anon8, and they are about the same age ;))

JaneB said...

Wheee! Here we go! I'm grinning ear to ear. I don't care that it doesn't count. I don't care that they will shuffle people in and out. They are playing ball.

natsfan1a said...

I believe that Monday's game is to be carried on MLB Network, fwiw.

natsfan1a said...

According to the MLBN schedule, that game won't air until 9:30 p.m. ET.

BinM said...

Good to hear that C-M Wang is going to face real-game conditions, even if it is against AA & lower hitters. If he starts showing command, maybe they bump him into the regular ST rotation after the first cut-downs (mid March).

Doc said...

Might be better if Wang made his first ST start against some Nats Insider posters; we'd go easier on him, while sitting on his fast balls.

Doc said...

Kevin Barker (not Jeff) must be someone's relative, or maybe the Nats are auditioning him to sell hot dogs. He hasn't played in the majors for about 10 years. Scouting gone wild!

Mark'd said...

How does KBarker get a ST invite and Lombardozzi doesn't?

BinM said...

By & large that could be true, except for JayB - He'd be barking at whoever he faced the whole time.

BinM said...

Barker posted some amazing slash numbers (.291/.416/.510/.926) in the Mexican League last year; Rizzo tossed him a NRI contract just to see how much he's got left in the tank, IMO.

Why Lombardozzi was left off the NRI list, I haven't a clue - His minor-league & AFL numbers should have warrented a look, at the very least.

Anonymous said...

They also threw Michael Aubrey an NRI. Probably felt Lombardozzi wouldn't see much action given the additional veteran MI they decided to sign and bring to camp. If Harper hadn't signed a major league contract he would probably not be an NRI this year either.

Suicide Squeeze said...

I'm thinkin' Harper already has a Lombardozzi and a big fat new house to boot.

sparky said...

Just a point of order. Harper is not a non-roster invitee. We know this because he is on the 40 man roster. If you are on the roster, then by definition you can not be a non-roster anything.

BinM said...

I believe Anon's point was if Harper had not signed a MLB contract (40-man), he would not have earned a NRI or an AFL appearance, having signed so late in the season.

But then, why would a #1-#1 sign anything less than a MLB contract? The point is non-sensical on its face - good catch.

markfd said...

CMW had both Espy and Desi shaking their heads during live BP today...that is a good sign!

Mark - did you get to ask them their thoughts on facing CWM?

Also, JZimm looked good breaking Pudge's bat in his BP session!

SonnyG10 said...

What a bonus it would be if Wang can come back strong this year. I sure am rooting for him.

Viagra said...

I don't understand why they are talking about Cain. He's been in the minors for 7 full seasons, and he'll be 26 in April. Why would the braves trade prado or jj for a 26 year old rookie? If he's not good enough to play for the brewers of a couple years ago OR the royals last year what makes people think he'd be good enough to play for any playoff contending team?

Post a Comment