Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Mattheus to DL, Wang activated

PHILADELPHIA -- The Nationals will place reliever Ryan Mattheus on the 15-day disabled list with plantar fasciitis in his left foot and activate right-hander Chien-Ming Wang from the DL before tonight's game against the Phillies, according to a club source.

Wang will be available to pitch out of the bullpen tonight, though he'd likely be able to throw only one inning three days after a 5 2/3-inning rehab start for Class AAA Syracuse.

Mattheus left the club this morning to visit a foot specialist in Baltimore after aggravating the condition, which he said had been bothering him for several weeks. Even if the injury requires surgery, the reliever said he's been told he could return in only two weeks.

The Nationals intended for Wang to make one more minor-league rehab start before activating him off the DL. Out since mid-March with a hamstring injury, the veteran was allowed to remain on his 30-day rehab assignment until Sunday.

Wang, though, was already scheduled to be at Citizens Bank Park today to throw a bullpen session in front of coaches. Rather than send him back to Syracuse for another start, he'll remain with the big-league club and take over an unfamiliar role as a reliever.

The 32-year-old has only five games of bullpen experience in his career, and he seems an unlikely fit because of the extended time he needs to warm up before entering a game. But Wang said last week he would be open to the idea, and manager Davey Johnson subsequently said he planned to use the Taiwanese hurler as a long reliever, not wanting to move anyone out of what has been the majors' best rotation so far this season.

41 comments:

Doc said...

Great news, I guess!

Interesting to see Wang perform in long RH; should pave the way for CStam to audition for closer's role(Hi Davey!!).

Shouldn't give up on MPHRod, though. Just get him to a good sports' pyschologist. Nats have one on staff, don't they???

peric said...

And when Stammen gets shelled closing? And loses his confidence? He's find right where he is. Its his first true success in the majors after attempts that go back to 2009!!!

Sheesh people you all like setting guys up to fail! And when they do you're all over them!

The last time Stammen had that role it was in college. Those weren't even close to major league hitters where he went to school.

peric said...

i'd use Wang as a closer before I'd attempt that with Stammen. His sinker can be deadly when its on and running at 93 mph. And he is one guy you really can't expect to pitch 200 innings a year.

NatsJack in Florida said...

Wang as a closer before Stammen? Wang, the guy who takes forever warm up and actually has trouble in his first inning of effort if not properly loose? Over a guy who has shown ice in his veins so far this year, who actually hits 93 on the gun with a sinker (Wang topped out at 89 last week) and has been acclimated to the bull pen?

Wow!

Section 215 Row A said...

The whole problem with using Wang in ANY kind of relief role is the prohibitive time it takes to get him ready. The Nats have had little need for a true "long relief" role this year. I don't consider Stammen's two innings of work in the 6th and 7th long relief. You all remember long relief, right? Marquis gets knocked out of the box in the first? Mock can't get through 2 innings? Livo is lit up and is toast after three? These kind of outings are hard to predict. You need help immediately. Assuming Wang needs approximately 2 innings to get ready...how will Davey figure out when to get him up? This seems like a dilemma to me and I look for Wang to take Detwiler's starter slot sooner rather than later.

BaseballDude said...

Ahhhh...yes, I remember. So glad we're not there anymore!

Section 215 Row A said...

"You all remember long relief, right? Marquis gets knocked out of the box in the first? Mock can't get through 2 innings? Livo is lit up and is toast after three?"

natsfan1a said...

Well, at least he doesn't have to face this guy again.

But seriously, I do appreciate his willingness to take on whatever role the FO might choose.

The 32-year-old has only five games of bullpen experience in his career, and he seems an unlikely fit because of the extended time he needs to warm up before entering a game.

pdowdy83 said...

Livan, another guy who needs forever to warm up, seems to have adjusted ok to the bullpen down in Atlanta. Not saying it is a perfect comparison but he has a sub 3.00 ERA in 24.1 innings in a role that not a lot of people thought would be a good one for him.

SCNatsFan said...

I'm ok with using Wang as a closer. He should begin loosening up right about now.

NatsJack in Florida said...

And for the record, the best bull pen help for down the road and not on the DL, is pitching in Harrisburg right now, despite what others may tell you.

peric said...

Over a guy who has shown ice in his veins so far this year, who actually hits 93 on the gun with a sinker (Wang topped out at 89 last week) and has been acclimated to the bull pen?

Yeah 89 isn't going to cut it ... he was up to 93 in the spring. Again, Wang can't be relied upon to start either he's still recovering ... he looks more like middle relief.

As for ice water in their veins? Dude really SMALL minuscule sample size for Stammen given his history. Wang has been known to have ice water in his veins enough to get close to the CY Young winning 19 games, AND playoff action. Who do you think has a better shot of handling the pressure?

But the 89 mph is likely why he looks worse than Yunesky Maya who perhaps deserves a call up well before John Lannan.

peric said...

And for the record, the best bull pen help for down the road and not on the DL, is pitching in Harrisburg right now, despite what others may tell you.

They have good starters but the bullpen? Christian Garcia? Yeah he's having a good year but he is approaching 27 years of age. Erik Davis? Yeah right. Uhmmm in spite of what others might tell you ... probably not.

whatsanattau said...

If the question is "who is the closer", the Wang answer would be Chien-Ming.

David said...

maybe Wang can get some 3 inning saves, shutting the door down after one of our starters goes 6 innings. that could keep HRod out of the game, and also keep Wang sharp, so he has to attack the hitters. of course that could backfire if he re-injures his shoulder from over throwing. at least Wang has some pressure-cooker experience with the Yanks.

Steady Eddie said...

NatsJack -- who are you thinking of in Harrisburg?

Guy who unexpectedly impressed me in an early season game against Bowie was Christian Garcia. Big 6'5", 215 lb. guy warming up between innings throwing 78 mph junk, which made me think, "huh?". Then he starts throwing 95 mph heat all over the black, with just enough breaking stuff mixed in to keep the hitters completely off-balance.

Not saying he's the guy, as he will be 27 in August, and from his IP looks like he's been hurt more than on the field since 2008 if not before (http://www.milb.com/milb/stats/stats.jsp?pos=P&sid=milb&t=p_pbp&pid=451600). But good stats this year. And Erik Davis and Pat Lehman ain't doing too shabby, either.

(Of course, Danny Rosenbaum is lights-out awesome but he's a September call up as the starter he is.)

baseballswami said...

In spring training I thought we would have Wang pitch 4-ish innings and the Detweiler would finish the other 4,5-ish. I saw them as two pieces of the same game. Perhaps it will work in reverse? Can you even imagine being a hitter and facing them back-to-back in either order? One lefty power pitcher, one righty sinker baller. That could be devastating and technically, it would be relief work. I am shocked that Ryan Perry is still with the team. Not saying he is the worst ever, just with Wang not really being a flexible reliever, is this going to leave us really short? And with HRod up in the air right now? Davey complains constantly already about a short bullpen. As for the time after shutdown for Strassie - will Wang or Detweiler be able to throw a lot of innings down the stretch? I don't know how many Det threw last year in the minors, but I don't see either pitchers being able to go 200.

NatsLady said...

Aroldis Chapman is a lefty closer (for the moment, anyway). That said, no way on Detwiler for short relief--closer or not.

NCNatsie said...

Can anyone quantify the statement about Wang taking a long time to warm up? How long? Seriously, if you're Davy and you say you're going to use him in relief, are you sayaing he can't begin warming up at the start of the previous half inning? Obviously, some innings take longer than others, but it he not going to be ready in, say, a typical 15 pitch inning?

I just don't have a sense of what everybody's talking about.

NatsLady said...

30-45 minutes.

Faraz Shaikh said...

Good one 1a. I remember watching that home run live on TV when my cousin called it.

Faraz Shaikh said...

I don't see what's wrong with that. why not have him start warming up as soon as bottom fifth begins?

Section 3, My PFB Hitterish Sofa said...

They said it at the beginning of the year: Long relief on this staff will be like being the Maytag Repairman.

Doc said...

BaseballswamiI like your ideas on simese closers, Wang and Det. Probably never been tried on a regualar basis in the bigs??

Still think that they should try CStam in closers' role. As far as veins and ice-water, nothing seems to bother CStam! He seems to have a lot of trust for Davey.

In the short run, what's to lose??

Section 3, My PFB Hitterish Sofa said...

Stammen may or may not get shelled if he closed--in baseball, nobody knows nothing, as Yogi said--but I doubt it. He is not the same guy he was in college (neither is Storen, or Strasburg, or Zimmerman, or much of anybody else, for that matter), but in his particular case, he really does seem to have learned something important over the winter. And it's only for a few more weeks, really. Against ... well, the entire NL East, and most of the AL East. No problem! Buncha stiffs!

NCNatsie said...

Thank you, NatsLady. If that's right, then he is certainly useless as a reliever and ought not even be considered. In a 3 hour game, the average half inning would last 10 minutes (including the break). So he'd have to start an inning and a half or more before being ready.

I've never seen such a thing. Can Davy really be contemplating it? Or does he simiply not believe it will really take him that long?

peric said...

Still think that they should try CStam in closers' role. As far as veins and ice-water, nothing seems to bother CStam!

Given that this is his very first real success in the majors I wouldn't touch him. Leave him where he is for now. Don't rock the boat.

My guess is it'll be Mattheus if he can manage with orthotics for a inning or two, along with Burnett. That makes the most sense to me right now other than the solution is likely outside the organization.

Section 3, My PFB Hitterish Sofa said...

with apologies to Eleanor Roosevelt, closers are like teabags--you never know how strong they are until they're in hot water.

NatsJack in Florida said...

Steady Eddie ..you got it. He's the one guy the organization has been keeping the low profile on till they are convinced his twice surgically repaired elbow is solid.

Section 3, My PFB Hitterish Sofa said...

Mattheus won't be back for two weeks, in the best-case medical scenario, after which he'll have to work back into shape, so we're talking mid-June, really, before he pitches in a game, I'm thinking. At the soonest. Storen will be back by the break. So no, not Mattheus.

Steady Eddie said...

NatsJack -- Which explains the low IP for most of his MILB career.

Only thing is, outside of a thimblefull of coffee at the end of last season, he's never pitched above AA. If they want to consider moving him to the Show they'd better give him some time with MLB-experienced hitters at Cuse first.

peric said...

If they want to consider moving him to the Show they'd better give him some time with MLB-experienced hitters at Cuse first.

And given his age ... he is up there in Garret Mock land age wise. Kind of like Hassan Pena another "lights out" closer in Harrisburg with Henry-like stuff that isn't doing all that well in Syracuse ... so far ... and the operative word is so far.

NatsLady said...

If he doesn't have a long, regimented warmup, CMW blows the first inning--not exactly what you want in a reliever. There was even consideration of a simulated inning as part of his warmup routine. But when he had a good warmup, he was fine in the first inning, both last year and at Syracuse.

If they are going to do Wang/Det, then Wang should go 5 first, Det for 3 or 4. That should give the rest of the BP a day off (in theory).

peric said...

If they are going to do Wang/Det, then Wang should go 5 first, Det for 3 or 4. That should give the rest of the BP a day off (in theory).

Might work, but its a bit like spring training and try-outs? Don't you think? Davey said he doesn't want anyone to feel they are auditioning? Even though its likely that they are ... :)

NatsLady said...

I wouldn't consider it an audition. Just a plan to deal with two pitchers both of whom have, at the moment, weaknesses. You have no choice right now, you have to have them both on the 25-man. So what is the best use? Expect them to combine efforts and give the bullpen a day off.

Sue Dominus said...

I've never seen such a thing. Can Davy really be contemplating it? Or does he simiply not believe it will really take him that long?

When speaking of Wang in the bullpen, it was said that they would keep him on a starter's schedule. Starters pitch every fifth day and throw a bullpen session one day in the middle. So if they designated his start day and bullpen day as the days he is available to pitch, he could just start warming up around the fourth inning on those days. If he's needed in the game that day, he pitches. If not, he just continues to throw whatever's left of his bullpen session in the bullpen. So if he's needed every day he warms up, that would have him pitching in two out of every five games, which is about right for a long man.

What was so hard about that?

David said...

I like the idea of our 5th starter being Wang followed by Detwiler...

NatsLady said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
NCNatsie said...

Also, if you need somebody in the 4th or 5th, he's not ready, and you'd have to burn a short man you'd like to have available later in the game.

NCNatsie said...

Okay, NatsLady removed the comment to which my "Also" referred. So just ignore the also.

NatsLady said...

Yeah, sorry about that. I got to thinking about Sue's comment, but I think that system is too complicated, and could get out of sync easily. If you are going to use Wang/Det as the combo 5th starter for a month or so, then just keep it simple.

NCNatsie said...

Agreed

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