. . . and his name is Chien-Ming Wang. Yes, its OK to start panicking now.
Now the question is what to do about him. His next scheduled turn is Friday, in Boston vs Josh Beckett. There’s zero chance he makes that start. He has trouble with the Sox under normal circumstances, and these are anything but. We have an off day on Thursday, that will give Girardi and Cashman a chance to skip his turn while they figure out what to do next. I still doubt they will take the drastic move of taking him out of the rotation, but it has to be on the table at this point. If they skip him, his next scheduled turn will be Tuesday, April 28th against Detroit with Edwin Jackson going for the Tigers. His career numbers are good against Detroit, but I’m not sure that they mean anything at this point.
What troubled me most about today’s start was how deflated he became after the 3 run HR. He made a good pitch, the batter simply did a good job of going with it. It was as much a product of the count (3-1) as anything else. But Wang simply lost it after that, and that tells you that mentally all of this is weighing on him, heavily. Pitchers with his amount of big league experience should be able to bear down and get the final two outs, but he just gave up. That is a very, very troubling sign.
Options right now include sending him down to Tampa to work with Nardi Contreres or “finding” an injury and putting him on the DL. Sending him to AAA Scranton to regain his confidence isn’t going to happen. Wang is out of options, so sending him down would mean he would have to ckear waivers, which he wont. Of the choices, I would send him to Tampa and see if Nardi can reach him. Girardi may not like it, but Eiland has tried and tried to get to him and nothing has worked. They keep saying his bullpens between starts have been good, that he’s just not taking it out on the mound with him. They even tried a simulated game between starts, where he pitched to Ransom and Melky. Once again, to no effect. They need to try a different voice, a different approach to see if they can get him past this rough patch. But one thing that can’t be considered is to keep doing what they’re doing now. That, as Einstein once said, is the definition of insanity.
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