It hasn’t been all rainbows and sunshine for former Yankees starting pitcher Chien-Ming Wang, but as of Tuesday afternoon, he is a Major-League pitcher again.
Wang inked a contract with the Toronto Blue Jays that will reportedly pay him $500,000 for the season (prorated), and he will debut on Tuesday night against the Chicago White Sox at U.S. Cellular Field. Wang was last seen in the Major Leagues in 2012 with the Washington Nationals, where he posted a woeful 6.68 ERA in 10 appearances, while posted a 1-to-1 strikeout-to-walk rate.
When Wang first arrived in the United States, he was a pretty effective pitcher for the Yankees, but there was always some mystery by which he was able to get outs in the Majors. During the 2006 season, Wang won 19 games and threw 218 innings while posting a very solid 3.63 ERA. However, he did so while striking out only 3.14 batters per 9 innings (which is insanely low), and after that campaign, his performance severely slipped.
The expectations for a pitcher who hasn’t been “relevant” since 2008 are fairly low, but the Blue Jays are in dire straights for their rotation. RA Dickey and Josh Johnson have been significant disappointments this season, Brandon Morrow has fallen off the cliff (and is injured), and Ricky Romero is toiling in the Minor Leagues. As a result, Wang gets the call, but remember, Blue Jays fans, that he is certainly not the savior.