Name: Chien-Ming Wang
Position(s): Right-handed Starting Pitcher
Well, considering the fact that Wang wasn’t even in the Blue Jays organization on Opening Day, there weren’t any expectations for him.
Wang signed a minor league free agent deal with the New York Yankees on March 22. After pitching very well for the Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Railriders, he opted out of his contract on June 7 and quickly signed with the Blue Jays, making five starts to mixed (but generally bad) results and getting Designated for Assignment on July 3 and Outrighted to Buffalo on July 5 (Wang had to accept this assignment before he could be outrighted). His contract was selected on August 24 and he started a game for the Jays against Houston and got knocked around, which led to him being sent outright back to Buffalo on August 27.
Well, for a while there, Wang looked like he was going to be a solid contributor to the rotation. In his first three starts, he went 7 1/3, 7 and 6 1/3 innings and gave up a total of 6 runs. He gave up five runs in that first start but he could probably be forgiven as four of the five runs came on home runs.
In the next two starts, he was terrific, throwing seven shutout innings against the Rangers and six and a third innings with just one run against the Orioles. He was really at his efficient best in those two games getting a total of 31 ground balls to 11 fly balls (with four line drives and one pop up).
After that, however, Wang started to spiral downwards, not being able to get batters out. In his last two starts before his demotion back to Buffalo, Wang only went one and two-thirds innings (in both) and gave up a total of 13 runs on 14 hits and three walks. Yes. It was bad. In his last start of the season (in August), Wang made it through three innings and gave up five runs (four were earned).
All that said, Wang was very productive in Triple-A, pitching for Scranton/Wilkes-Barre and Buffalo in the International League. He made 17 starts and combined for 109 2/3 innings with a 2.87 ERA and a 1.14 WHIP with 55 strikeouts and 22 walks.
What this really goes to show is that without his top notch stuff anymore, Wang is having a hard time bridging the fairly wide gap between Triple-A and the majors. Wang was never a big strikeout guy, even in his 19-win seasons with the Yankees but the loss of velocity (and perhaps some movement) has created problems for him getting major leaguers out.
He’ll probably try to catch on with another organization. He’ll take a minor league deal somewhere or, maybe, go back to Asia for some better money.