Is Chien-Ming Wang Ready For a Return to the Yankees?

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Coming off of starter David Phelps’ implosion (.1 IP), the Yankees will be looking for more success from the return of a veteran, in Andy Pettitte, on Monday against the Indians.

In fact, Phelps is not the only moving part the Yankees have had in their rotation this year.  Ivan Nova, Vidal Nuno, and the eventually debuting Michael Pineda will all start for the Yankees this year.

Perhaps the next guy who should join that list is one who has had success in the past for the Yankees, Chien-Ming Wang.

It has been a while since the Yankees have seen their former back to back 19-game winner.  After his much ballyhooed foot injury as a base-runner, Wang was a shell of himself, only winning one game over the rest of his Yankees career after 46 victories over the previous 2 1/2 seasons.

Since then, he has been a baseball afterthought.  He has started only 16 games since 2010, all with the Washington Nationals, accumulating just a 6-6 record and 4.94 ERA.

Struggling through injuries, Wang made a major impact in the 2013 World Baseball Classic.

His statistics were strong – 12 innings pitched, 10 hits given up, 0 earned runs.  That performance turned into a second chance with the Bronx Bombers, who signed him to a minor league contract on March 22.

In his time with Scranton-Wilkes Barre, is showing some of his trademark ground ball game – getting 102 of 153 total outs of that type – while only surrendering 2 home runs total.

Over 51 IP, Wang has a 2.65 ERA, 1.18 WHIP.  His last two starts have been quite strong, 1 ER over a combined 12.2 innings.

Wang can opt out of his minor league contract on Friday (5/30), but his representatives have stated he will not unless they find a major league suitor.  Joel Sherman of the New York Post speculated the crosstown New York Mets could be a team looking for a starter, but a source said it was unlikely.

So Wang will remain an option for the Yankees.  He is certainly putting up quality numbers in the minors while biding his time.  Perhaps if Nuno falters, Nova cannot stake claim to a rotation spot, or Pineda takes too long in his rehab, Chien-Ming Wang could be seeing the end of the long road back to the Bronx.

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