Monday, April 16, 2012

Nats won't rush Wang back

US Presswire photo
Chien-Ming Wang is slated to pitch a simulated game Wednesday in Viera.
Though Chien-Ming Wang has progressed quickly from a strained hamstring and could be ready to return to a big-league mound by the end of the month, the Nationals plan to take things slowly with the veteran right-hander, not feeling the need to rush him back with the club's rotation already performing at such a high level.

Wang is scheduled to pitch in a simulated game Wednesday at the Nationals' extended spring training complex in Viera, Fla. Manager Davey Johnson suggested the 32-year-old could start a minor-league game next week, but general manager Mike Rizzo said the rehab process will take longer than that, in part because there's no immediate need for another starter in his rotation right now.

"I think [the current rotation depth] changes it," Rizzo said before tonight's game against the Astros. "We have the luxury, if you will, to really make sure that he's 100 percent healthy and stretched out and that the hammy, we don't re-aggravate it."

Wang hurt himself March 15 trying to make a running play at first base. Club officials initially feared the injury was severe, but Wang was back playing catch within a week, leading the Nationals to believe he might only miss three or four starts to open the season.

Because the injury was to his leg, not his arm, Wang has been able to maintain a throwing program throughout the last month. But he still hasn't pitched three full innings at any point since last season, and the Nationals want him to build up more stamina before activating him off the disabled list.

"I don't think we're starting from Ground Zero right now, but he needs to build up his arm strength again, and his pitch count, and that type of thing," Rizzo said. "Because you don't want to bring him up, and he can only three or four innings. We'd like to ramp him up to where he's felt comfortable throwing 100 pitches."

The plan, according to Rizzo, is for Wang to make pitch in at least two simulated games in Viera, then perhaps begin a minor-league rehab assignment that could last as many as 30 days.

The way he was pitching before suffering the hamstring injury, Wang looked like a key piece to the back end of the Nationals' rotation. But 10 games into the season, they haven't missed his presence at all. Entering play today, they lead all major-league rotations with a 1.75 ERA and rank second with 57 strikeouts.


Anonymous said...

Detwiler with back-to-back 5 inning starts. Even with errors and mis-calls, you have to do better with carrying your starters load.

In contrast, Gio and JZim both at 14 innings

CN said...

@ Anon
You've got to remember that Detwiler was used as a long reliever all ST and didn't get to get the usual ramp of the other 4 starters did. Davey explicitly mentioned that Detwiler would be restricted in his first start b/c of this. Soo, not an apples to apples comp to Gio & J Zim

Anonymous said...

The Nats would be better off, especially long-term, leaving Detwiler in the rotation and finding someone to give them a middling prospect for Wang.

NatsJack at Nats Park said...

And again, two less than knowlegeable posts by anons.

Scott from Burke said...

I culd see the Nats front office looking for a best-case scenario, that the five current pitchers continue to do well, and when Strasburg is shut down due to reacing his innings limit, Wang, who will have limited innings until that point, steps in and picks up his innings. The best thing about this plan? No Lannan.

Scott from Burke said...

The first commentator doesn't watch the games, just reads the box scores.

Gonat said...

Scott, I think that is what it is, a box score recap.

Gonat said...

Anonymous said...
In contrast, Gio and JZim both at 14 innings

April 16, 2012 6:14 PM

Not even accurate. EJax and JZim both have 14 innings, and Gio has 10 2/3

SFNats said...

The Nats would be better off, especially long-term, leaving Detwiler in the rotation and finding someone to give them a middling prospect for Wang.

If Wang comes back pitching the way he was in ST, it'll take a lot more than a middling prospect to get him from the Nats. In the meantime, Detwiler will be back in the rotation when Stras reaches his limit, and next year he won't have to worry about bouncing from the pan to the rotation and back.

Scott from Burke said...

If Lombardozzi gets another hit tonight he's starting tomorrow

NatsLady said...

Any word on Clip in pregame interviews?

Scott from Burke said...

No NatsLady...try google

NatsLady said...

All I found was this from Byron Kerr.

Nationals reliever Tyler Clippard said his shoulder is not bothering him as much as manager Davey Johnson might have led on after Sunday's loss to the Reds.
Clippard said he has the usual stiffness in his shoulder, but he feels that after any outing and says he is fine.
Johnson said he will look to rest Clippard and closer Brad Lidge tonight against the Astros. The pitching staff had to endure three extra-inning affairs in the four game set against Cincinnati, and Johnson wants to rest some guys tonight. That means he hopes Stephen Strasburg can go seven innings and have only two innings to fill from the bullpen.
"Clippard is alright," Johnson said. "Yesterday, he felt fine after the game. I think every year starting out he has trouble getting loose, but he is going to be fine. I talked to him yesterday before the game and I said 'I'd like to stay off you.' He said, 'I feel great (Sunday).' In the 11th inning, I had to go to him."

Theophilus said...

I think part of Clippard's problem may have been that, according to my recollection, he had started to warm up in the two previous games without being brought in. Maybe also earlier in yesterday's game. Could be wrong but that is the way I remember it. In any event, he certainly didn't look comfortable.

Anonymous said...

Clippard said and I paraphrase: "I've pitched more innings than anyone else over the last three years ... so of course ... "

Post a Comment