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Wang’s Speedy Recovery Draws Interest From Multiple Teams, Including The Mets

January 22, 2010

Chien-Ming Wang began his career with the New York Yankees in 2005 after storming through their minor league system with a 1.75 ERA in Staten Island(second lowest ERA in franchise history).  He won 19 games in both 2006 and 2007, and held the title of  “ace” of the pitching staff for both years as well.  He seemed to be on his way to a promising career on a very successful team. 

Then, on June 15, 2008,  Wang was taken out of an Interleague game versus the Houston Astros due to a right foot injury he sustained while running the bases, something he was not used to doing as pitchers do not  bat in the American League.  Wang was diagnosed with a torn Lisfranc ligament of the right foot, as well as a partial tear of the of the Peroneus Longus of the right foot.  Although he didn’t need surgery, the long recovery and rehab period caused Chien-Ming to miss the rest of the 2008 season. 

The Yankees and their fans hoped the worst was behind Chien-Ming Wang, but 2009 not only turned out to be the  shortest season of his career, but by far his worst statistical season as well.  After the Cleveland Indians crushed Wang and the Yankees 22-4 on April 18, 2009(ending Chien-Ming Wang’s month with an 0-3 record and a “to the moon” ERA of 34.50), there was speculation that the ’08 foot injury may have negatively effected his throwing motion.

After being removed from the rotation and sent down to Tampa to work on his mechanics, Wang was diagnosed with weakness in both hips and placed on the disabled list.  He had season ending shoulder surgery on July 30, 2009 and it was believed to be a direct result of the change in mechanics caused by the foot injury.  This past December, a few months after his surgery, Wang was non-tendered by the New York Yankees making him a free agent.

Wang has been throwing for nearly seven weeks now and could be pitching in the majors by May 1.  According to Alan Nero and Alan Chang, who both represent the former Yankee,  there are at least 15 teams with interest in Wang, one being the New York Mets. 

“He’s been under the very watchful eye of Dr. (James) Andrews,” Nero added, referring to the noted Orthopedist.   “Once a month, he spends a week with Andrews.  He’s been throwing for almost seven weeks and the response has been awesome,” Nero said.  

With Doug Davis and Joel Piniero both off the market, the Mets free agent pitcher options are dwindling.  The Dodgers just signed Vincente Padilla to a one year deal, which made the market a little less competitive , therefore helping the Mets. 

The Mets loved what they saw from Ben Sheets in Louisiana on Tuesday and John Garland is said to be a slim possibility as well.  Other available pitchers include John Smoltz, Jarrod Washburn, and Braden Looper.

Accounting for the fact that Chien-Ming Wang has already proven that he can be successful under the “big city lights”(at least in the regular season), and considering the tremendous amount of upside he possesses, Wang is a fantastic option for the Mets in 2010.

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