Everyday until spring training begins the "Respect Jeter's Gangster" blog will review one player from the Yankees roster. We will review a total of 25 players, the 25 we believe will be on the active roster after spring training. Our reviews are all edited by Carl Pavano himself to insure they're up to the stringent "Pavano Tough" standards.
Chien Ming Wang has undoubtedly been the ace of the Yankees over the last few seasons, despite peoples feelings against his lack of strikeout power. Wang, had put up back-to-back 19 win seasons, but fell short in 2008 due to a freak injury during a game with the Astro's where his foot exploded. Wang left that game after going 5 innings and not allowing a run, thus securing the win in his last outing. Last season was generally shaky, but was beginning to improve for Wang before he was injured. Wang cruised through April, and even pitched a complete game victory over the Red Sox allowing just one run. His very next start, also against the Red Sox, amounted to 4 innings and 8 runs. Wang recovered however and gave one quality start after another until mid-May when he reached a difficult stretch. In 4 starts, Wang lasted 23.2 innings and gave up 23 runs. He recovered with a great game against the A's going 7.1 innings and allowing 1 run, and was on his way to a great game against the Astro's until the foot injury. So now, Wang is entering the 2009 season recovering from his second major injury since being in pinstripes. Let's not forget his 2005 rotator cuff injury. In any event, the big question is how he will show up to spring training, and how quickly will he get ready for the season. After all, he threw off a mound for the first time earlier this week, which can be a little concerning given that spring training is just 8 days away.
My Fearless Prediction:
I'll sign Wang up for another 200 innings and 19 wins next season. Maybe even 20 if the offense shows up.
Little Known Wang Fact:
Wang discovered the sinker after tinkering with a new pitch called the torpedo. After killing or maiming 4 of his teammates, Wang decided to give up the torpedo for the less dramatic sinker.