Thursday, March 15, 2012

Wang leaves with hamstring strain

File photo by Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER
Chien-Ming Wang was enjoying a strong start before suffering his injury.
Right-hander Chien-Ming Wang was forced out of today's Grapefruit League game in Viera after an awkward stumble and fall trying to beat Yankees batter Russell Martin to first base on a third-inning grounder.

The Nationals announced Wang's injury as a left hamstring strain but did not immediately say how much time, if any, the veteran pitcher might miss.

Wang hurt himself after fielding a slow roller to the right of the mound off Martin's bat. With first baseman Chad Tracy also attempting to make the play, Wang was forced to run himself to the bag and try to beat Martin there. But the pitcher tripped as he approached the base and suffered a nasty spill (though he did manage to touch the bag with his hand and retire Martin).

Though he did appear to be smiling as he sat on the ground, Wang left the field limping with the assistance of a trainer.

The injury brought an abrupt end to what was shaping up to be a fine outing by the Taiwanese hurler. Wang blew through the top of the Yankees' lineup in the first inning, striking out both Brett Gardner and Andruw Jones. He did load the bases in the second but struck out Ramiro Pena to kill the potential rally, then struck out Gardner leading off the third before the Martin play ended his afternoon.

Wang (who missed all of 2010 and most of 2011 recovering from major shoulder surgery) had positioned himself to win the final spot in the Opening Day rotation, and he may still hold that designation if the injury is not serious. But if the veteran is forced to open the season on the disabled list, the Nationals already have an experienced starter in John Lannan ready to take that spot.

Lannan, who led the club with 10 wins and 33 starts last season while posting a career-best 3.70 ERA, seemed like the odd-man out in the Nationals' suddenly overloaded rotation. That reality prompted several general managers from other clubs to call Nationals GM Mike Rizzo and see if Lannan would be available in a trade.

Rizzo, though, insisted all along he was not seeking to deal Lannan and wanted to keep the left-hander as long as possible in the event of injury or other issue.

43 comments:

Anonymous said...

Blessing in disguise? Lannan starts the season in the rotation, pitches lights out b/c he's got a chip on his shoulder, increases his trade value, and we get a nice asset in return for lannan once CMW recovers.

Mike Hall said...

And that's why Lannan is still on the team.

FS said...

Well that certainly 'solves' a problem I guess.

Section 222 said...

Not so sure that Lannan is assured of spot in the rotation even if Wang is injured. Detwiler is also competing, and DJ likes Matheus for the pen. Lannan could still end up in AAA for a bit.

John C. said...

CMW should not be allowed off the mound. He's a danger to himself and others when he tries to run around!

John C. said...

Lannan isn't assured of a spot, but his chances improve greatly. Mattheus hasn't done himself any favors this spring.

Nats fan in NJ said...

Mike - couldn't have stated it better myself...

spike94wl said...

Hey John... so, I know we've spent the last month trying to trade you buuuuuttt... HERE'S YOUR JOB BACK!

Section 3, My Sofa said...

or not...

Section 3, My Sofa said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
realdealnats said...

Been saying for 4 weeks, that somehow some way Lannan would be our #5 starter and I still think he will.

I don't dislike CMW. And I certainly don't wish him any harm. In fact, I'd like to see him pitch lights out like he appeared on his way to doing. Except a lot of us have been waiting for the other shoe to drop with him, and it just did. Now he needs to carefully rehab--even if it's not too serious--b/c of the tendency to adjust his mechanics to offset whatever he just tweaked, which is what got him into the deep trouble with his shoulder in the first place a few years ago.

I think they'll put him on the DL, start Lannan, keep Det in the BP and in a strange sort of way, consider themselves lucky that they didn't have to send Lannan to Cuse and insult him (not that he shouldn't have gone quietly). As for Det--he might be the power lefty of the future, but they want to see him come out of the pen for now.

I'm curious what others think about what Detwiler's long term role is with the Nats. Is it in the BP? Or do they envision him back in the starting lineup someday? Do they want him to build up, muscle-wise? Or what? It's weird b/c if he's successful in the pen why move him? But if he's not successful in the pen, why give him another chance starting? I think he's still going to be a real good power lefty for us, I just don't see the path it's going to take getting him there.

A pat on the back for all the hold onto Lannan posters. Patience can be a good thing.

Section 3, My Sofa said...

try that again:

Just saw the replay of the Wang injury--golly, that looked awkward. Lucky he didn't break his ankle.

Come to think of it, wasn't his first catastrophic injury to his foot, not his shoulder?

Section 3, My Sofa said...

from NJ:

"In June 2008, Wang partially tore a tendon in his right foot and badly sprained his right ankle, which sidelined him for the remainder of that season. The injury led to altered mechanics when he returned in 2009, which contributed to his right shoulder capsule tear."

Section 222 said...

@sec3 -- Wow. That history suggests they will be really really careful with him before bringing him back.

realdealnats said...

Strasburg is interesting. You'd never want to be the next team he faces after a bad outting. He's pretty predictable and nasty that way. But will he find the consistent excellence everyone expects from him--that he expects most of all. Or should we expect a few of 12-14 win seasons first?

natsfan1a said...

Indeed.

Section 215, Row A said...

scary and appropriate research sec3...your couch is clearly the place to be!

nattsfan1a said...

That was weird. My post, if it showed up, related to those of sec 3 and 222.

PAY TO PLAY said...

How did that Bryce Harper do versus the Yankees?

MicheleS said...

realdealnats..

Det needs to put on weight, specifically in the lower body, many here have volunteered to feed him to help with the weight gain.

Mark'd said...

P2P, not good with Harper. 0-3

Oldguy said...

I saw Harper last night and today. He has not looked good at all. In fact, he looks exactly like what he is--a 19-year-old kid fighting like hell to make the team. He seems hurried and impatient at the plate. We were saying in the stands that he never saw a pitch he didn't like. But he did take a few in his later at bat today--guess somebody told him to try and relax. Actually, I don't think this is necessarily bad news. If he cools off he won't be cheesed off at not making the team and may learn some patience at Syracuse. For all his skill, he just doesn't seem quite ready to take out of the oven. Needs to cook another 30 minutes.

realdealnats said...

MicheleS,

Can you think of any good power pitchers with a body shape like Detwilers?

Anonymous said...

The Unit.

realdealnats said...

Anon,

There you go.

I don't think Detwiler is as mean as The Unit, but it did take Randy a number of years to find his winning groove.

MicheleS said...

realdeal & Anon.

I always thought the Unit had solid legs because he generated so much of his power from that. I think Det needs to put some weight on to build up the stamina and stay in the games longer. Always seemed like he putters out...

ehay2k said...

Looking at the replays of Wang's tumble, it looked like he first (hyper-extended his left knee (which would tweak the hamstring), then he caught himself on his right leg, but when he next put down his left, the knee looked to almost buckle, and the ankle rolled over. Very frightening and it could have been a LOT worse.

So, CMW starts on the DL (didn't NatsFan1a or Michele, or NatsLady predict this very scenario?) That means Lannan may make the rotation after all (needed a lefty anyway), and it means that you still can't have too many pitchers because we are only halfway through ST.

bdrube said...

From the Bleacher Report, something we would be discussing had Rizzo not made the Gio trade:


None of the cuts should surprise on a team so young, but A's fans probably expected more from Brad Peacock.

The former Nats farmhand has better stuff than fellow import Tom Milone, but his spring has been a disaster. He's allowed five earned runs and seven hits through his first 4.2 innings and can see a rotation spot slipping away with each setback.

The good news is that with such much youth around him, Peacock has a longer leash than most rookies in his positions. The bad news is that he hasn't done much with that leash yet.

MicheleS said...

Looks like some roster moves were made today. Eury down to AA, Maya to AAA, more to come they got down to 41

MicheleS said...

Watching MASN now, really do we have to see it over and over again

realdealnats said...

MicheleS, I actually do agree with you about Detwiler and his needing strength. He loses stamina and thus control in the later innings. I do think he is on his way to mastering batters the second time through the lineup, though. A separate but related problem? So do you think Rizzo or Davey are outlining a strength plan for him while he's in the pen? Or who knows?

SonnyG10 said...

Agree with the above assessments. As realdealnats says above, it took a while for Randy to become dominant and that's what I hope for Det. Harper was swinging the bat so hard it looked like he was trying to pulverize the ball. Bob and FP said he normally swings that way though.

MicheleS said...

realdeal.. I think it is the "Or Who Knows". I would have thought he would have done some off season conditioning to build it up. But it could be he was doing it and we just haven't seen the physical manifistation of it. He could be one of the freaks that does the workouts and doesn't build bulk no matter how hard he tries.

MicheleS said...

OMG.. They are doing Crazy talk on MASN about the rotation.

Gonat said...

realdealnats said...
MicheleS, I actually do agree with you about Detwiler and his needing strength. He loses stamina and thus control in the later innings. I do think he is on his way to mastering batters the second time through the lineup, though. A separate but related problem? So do you think Rizzo or Davey are outlining a strength plan for him while he's in the pen? Or who knows?

March 15, 2012 5:05 PM
_______________________________

When you start losing your stamina you start trying to overthrow to keep up the velo and that usually leads to your ball coming in like a BP fastball.

Detwiler had a reputation about getting beat up 2nd time through the order. I think he now can't make it through the 6th inning consistently.

FS said...

any bullet points MicheleS about that crazy talk.

MicheleS said...

FS..

You know how they did the CMW/Lannan split today, they talked about doing that in season, not just with CMW/Lannan, but with Stras and JZ as well and then they thought we could mix in a 6 man rotation on top of that.

Rabbit said...

Watching Harper lately, he really should start at AAA. Too bad for Wang. The only thing that is going to hurt us worse than Wang being injured is Lannan pitching uninjured!

realdealnats said...

So Gonat, do you think he's made some progress and makes it through the front end of the batters second time around? And is getting hit at the tail end of their lineups 2nd time through? Or not much progress at all except for a flukey short lived September stretch?

Gardner said...

Was sitting on the 1B line during the play in question - it was a fantastically unatheletic play - like a deer being shot...looked terrible

Theophilus said...

Wang=reason to keep Lannan; Lannan=reason to keep Wang healthy.

Speaking of power pitchers, freaks and Detwiler('s frame), Lincecum is a shorter version of Detwiler (physically).

Anonymous said...

Detwiler has also been pitching well. Don't make Mark's mistake of penciling Lannan in to the top of the rotation yet. Lannan may be the 6th starter but if they get Wang back look for John Lannan to be shopping at the Wegman's in Camillus.

Section 3, My Sofa said...

Theo, I see what you mean, but Lincecum's delivery is so different I'm not sure there's much comparison to draw, really, with Detwiler. But then I'm not a big fan. Sorry, Ross, nothing personal.

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