Wang throws first bullpen of the spring

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Chien-Ming Wang Nats.jpgAccording to Bill Ladson of, Chien-Ming Wang threw his first bullpen session of the spring on Monday.

Wang, who is currently rehabbing from shoulder surgery, threw 10 pitches on flat ground and then 15 pitches from the mound. Nationals pitching coach Steve McCatty was satisfied with what he saw:

“I was happy with what he did,” McCatty said. “He felt good and the ball
has that sink to it. It was very good to see. The arm slot looked good.
He was free and easy with the ball.”

Wang was signed to an incentive-laden one-year, $2 million contract with the Nationals in February, although he isn’t expected to be ready to pitch in the majors until at least May.

It’s not much of a stretch to imagine a rotation of Wang, Stephen Strasburg, John Lannan, Jason Marquis and Jordan Zimmermann in Washington by September. In other words, look out, the Nationals could resemble a real, competitive baseball team real soon.

Mike Fiers may not be ready for start of regular season due to back issue

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Anthony Fenech of the Detroit Free Press reports that Tigers starter Mike Fiers is dealing with a back issue and may not be ready for the start of the season. Manager Ron Gardenhire characterized the injury as a “stiff back” and added, “Maybe a little bit of a bulging disk or something like that.”

Fiers, 32, signed a one-year, $6 million deal with the Tigers in December. He has had a forgettable spring, yielding 12 runs on 10 hits and eight walks with seven strikeouts in 11 1/3 innings.

Fiers had a rotation spot locked up along with Michael Fulmer, Jordan Zimmermann, and Francisco Liriano. Matt Boyd and Daniel Norris were battling it out for the No. 5 spot. If Fiers opens the regular season on the 10-day disabled list, both could have spots in the rotation.