Friday, March 30, 2012

Wang rehab ahead of schedule

US Presswire photo
Chien-Ming Wang last pitched on March 15 against the Yankees.
VIERA, Fla. -- Though he'll open the season on the disabled list, Chien-Ming Wang's rehabilitation from a hamstring strain is progressing in more rapid fashion than the Nationals expected.

Manager Davey Johnson said Wang will fly north with the club following Monday's Grapefruit League finale in Fort Myers, though it's yet to be determined if the right-hander will accompany the team to Chicago for Thursday's opener against the Cubs or remain in Washington to continue his rehab.

"I want to see his throwing program and what he's doing up to that point," Johnson said before tonight's game. "Not that much is going to be happening down here anyways. And then we can decide what's best for him to continue his rehab, either out of D.C. or whatever."

Wang strained his hamstring on March 15, trying to make a play at first base, and club officials initially feared the injury was serious. There's still no formal timetable for the right-hander's return, but the Nationals are hoping it may not extend into May.

Because the injury was to his leg, Wang was able to resume a throwing program last week. He played long-toss from up to 300 feet today, and Johnson said "he looked great throwing the ball."

Given that, Wang probably won't need to endure through the kind of complete rehab program pitchers with arm injuries typically experience. He'll still make at least two or three minor-league starts, building up his innings count, but may not need to spend the full 30 days on a rehab assignment.

At the same time, the Nationals insist they won't rush Wang back, taking his shoulder injury history into account.

"We're going to be very cautious with him," Johnson said. "He's a very important cog in what we've got going here. I want to make sure we don't rush him so there's not a setback."

Meanwhile, closer Drew Storen will take another positive step in his recovery from elbow inflammation tomorrow when he throws off a bullpen mound for the first time since he was shut down earlier this month.

"It feels great," said Storen, who will open the season on the DL but is expected to return by mid-April.


Cwj said...

With Wang, Lannan, Detwiler, Gorzelanny, and now Zack Duke (in AAA), the Nats are absolutely loaded with number 4 and 5 starters should the unthinkable happen and any of the starting 4 hurt themselves.

Stating the obvious, but man this team is deep.

Joe Seamhead said...

If it wasn't about the money, Jackson would be the guy fighting for the number five spot, behind Lannan , Wang, and Detweiler, based on the way they've pitched this spring.

bdrube said...

@Joe Seamhead:

2011 WAR Stats (Baseball Reference):

Edwin Jackson - 3.0
Ross Detwiler - 1.1
John Lannan - 0.9
Chein-Ming Wang - 0.0

Jackson is getting paid for a reason.

Joe Seamhead said...

I'm not unfamiliar with Jackson, bdrube. Notice that I said " based on the way they've pitched this spring."

Anonymous said...

Regarding the WAR stats from 2011, they're kind of meaningless for Detwiler and Wang. Detwiler didn't start much until the end of the season and he was very impressive then. As for Wang, he was still getting back into shape, but grew stronger as time went by. Surprised to see Lannan's WAR so much lower, as I thought he had a pretty strong season. By the way I like Lannan, Jackson, and Wang but would have loved to see Detwiler in the rotation - he could still be something special.

sjm308 said...

Detwiler will be something special. Remember way back how the Orioles used to do this. Solid young pitchers started in the bullpen and got experience. They will have Detwiler join Gio, SS, and JZ next year and maybe add another arm of go with one of the other 3 that are already here but I feel Detwiler will be a big piece next year and actually all of this year.

By the way, did you see our number 3 catcher with a great throwout on the stolen base attempt and also with a big hit with runner in scoring position. I realize he will catch in AAA but I am still thinking that 3 catchers are the way to go.

sjm308 said...

should read "or go with"

SCNatsFan said...

Amazing that as a Nats fan I can ponder having too much pitching

Mr. Doggett said...

Too much pitching will work itself out... now we just need Bryce to be ready.

natsfan1a said...

Good for CMW. Get/stay healthy!

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