Wang throws first bullpen of the spring

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Chien-Ming Wang Nats.jpgAccording to Bill Ladson of MLB.com, 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.
 

Giancarlo Stanton will defend his Home Run Derby title

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The Marlins announced on Sunday that outfielder Giancarlo Stanton will defend his Home Run Derby title when the city of Miami host’s the All-Star Game festivities next month.

Stanton, 27, defeated Todd Frazier in the finals of last year’s Home Run Derby at Petco Park, hitting 20 home runs to Frazier’s 13. Stanton hit a total of 61 home runs in the Derby. This will be the third Home Run Derby in which Stanton has participated.

Stanton also went 1-for-3 with a solo home run to help the Marlins defeat the Cubs 4-2 on Sunday. He’s now batting .274/.357/.551 with 20 home runs and 49 RBI in 311 plate appearances.

Aaron Hicks to go on the disabled list with an oblique injury

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Yankees outfielder Aaron Hicks left Sunday’s game against the Rangers after four innings due to soreness in his right oblique. After the game, Hicks said he expects to go on the 10-day disabled list and miss the next three to four weeks, MLB.com’s Bryan Hoch reports.

Hicks was 1-for-2 with a single before departing on Sunday. He entered the game batting .288/.397/.515 with 10 home runs and 37 RBI in 198 plate appearances. It is by far the best season of his career.

Jacoby Ellsbury is on his way back from a concussion, so the Yankees will only have to bridge the gap in center field for a week or two. Mason Williams could draw some starts in center field in the meantime.