It took Wang all of 12 scoreless innings in the WBC for the Yankees to abolish his past.
Wang has been injured and ineffective for years, as his last decent outing in the majors was with the Yankees back on July 15, 2008. Wang broke his foot running the base pads in the game and he missed the rest of the season.
In 2009, Wang’s return was a disaster as by the end of April he had an ERA of 34.50. At the start of July he was 1-6 but had lowered his ERA just shy of 11 but needed to have major shoulder surgery and that were what I thought were his last days in pinstripes.
After missing more than half of 2009 and all of 2010, Wang signed on with the Washington Nationals and here is how he fared down in DC:
Generally Yankees fans seem to think Wang was a good pick-up and that it is not an impact deal. A few crazies view Wang as the missing piece that could lead the team to the playoffs.
I completely disagree with the general opinion of my fellow Yankees fans.
Signing Wang sends more mixed messages to me and shows more irresponsibility by the front office.
Here is what jumped into my head when I heard that Wang was back:
1) Wang signed what was said to be a minor league deal, but the details were not released. will join the Triple-A Scranton rotation to start. In turn this knocks a pitcher from every minor league level down a rung, which doesn’t scream ‘prospect development’ to me. Since the Yankees priorities are obviously not farm system focused it must mean they are going to start spending money again, right?
2) Wang drew the Yankees attention after throwing 12 good innings over two starts in the WBC for Team Chinese Taipei. Wang posted a 1-0 record, giving up 10 hits, one walk and three strikeouts. That itty-bitty performance was all the Yankees needed to forget that Wang hasn’t pitched well since 2008 in a big league game. And his injury history, oh whatever.
3) Whoops…I almost forgot to mention that in Wang’s first WBC outing the defense made three double plays behind him. That is six outs right there. It makes sense that Team CT had top infield because with Wang being a sinkerball pitcher it is imperative to have a top rated defensive behind him. A sinker provokes a ton of ground balls, and as of now the Yankees infield’s movement should be kept at a minimum. So that must mean the Yankees have something big up their sleeve.
Otherwise starting Wang without a major overall in the infield could result in Nunez breaking MLB’s most errors record; Jeter breaking his surgically repaired ankle; Juan Rivera will be at first base; and Youkilis is not exactly a defensive wizard. And that would fall under the class of irresponsible.
4) Another hint that the Yankees that Hal Steinbrenner is about to throw caution to the wind by signing Wang is maybe the Yankees are planning on trading Ivan Nova, David Phelps or Phil Hughes for a big batter. This goes back to #1 as it implies that Hal decided not to develop from within the organization, as he wouldn’t trade away Phelps, Nova or 18-game winner Hughes just to save a buck, right? Right.
The bottom line is if the Yankees continue signing veteran washed up, has-been when it stalls any prospects from getting a chance.
The Yankees should just trade the farm system away for a player like Marlins Mike Stanton, but instead of letting these kids continue to waste away?