Washington Nationals' Wang throws during MLB National League baseball game against the Mets in Washington

Chien-Ming Wang roughed up in first major league start since 2009

1 Comment

Chien-Ming Wang made his first major league start since July 4, 2009 last night against the Mets and it should come as no surprise that he was pretty shaky out of the gate.

Wang, who has been rehabbing from shoulder surgery for the past two years, gave up six runs (four earned) over four innings as part of an 8-5 loss. The 31-year-old right-hander allowed the first five batters to reach base in the first inning, leading to four runs, though he did settle down a bit from there. All told, he gave up eight hits (all singles) while striking out two and walking one. He threw 39 out of 61 pitches for strikes and induced eight ground balls.

While the results weren’t all that great, Nationals manager Davey Johnson told the Associated Press that he set his expectations pretty low for his Wang’s return.

“I was actually impressed,” Nationals manager Davey Johnson said. “His delivery looked really easy. He had some good velocity on the ball. I was pleased. I really didn’t think I was going to see that much.”

According to Brooks Baseball, Wang averaged 91.75 mph on his fastball last night and topped out at 92.7 mph. He averaged around 93 mph on his fastball during his most productive year with the Yankees back in 2006.

With a throng of media from his native Taiwan tracking his every move, Wang told reporters that he was just happy to get back on a major league mound.

“I feel really happy and then especially during the game,” Wang said through an interpreter. “I feel like I can do it again, come back to the mound, especially it’s been a while, a long time. I was down in Florida rehabbing for almost two years. Right now, I’m back.”

According to Mark Zuckerman of CSNWashington.com, Johnson said after the game that he believes Wang will stay in the rotation for the rest of the season as long as he continues to make progress. Wang had a 9.64 ERA and 29/19 K/BB ratio in 42 innings with the Yankees before undergoing shoulder surgery in July of 2009, so while it was nice to see him back in the big leagues, he’s far from a lock to be successful.

Report: Astros remain in contact with the Athletics on Sonny Gray

OAKLAND, CA - AUGUST 06: Sonny Gray #54 of the Oakland Athletics pitches against the Chicago Cubs during the first inning at the Oakland Coliseum on August 6, 2016 in Oakland, California. (Photo by Jason O. Watson/Getty Images)
Jason O. Watson/Getty Images
1 Comment

The Astros remain in contact with the Athletics on starting pitcher Sonny Gray, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports. The Astros have added Charlie Morton this offseason, but the club has been trying to add a big-name starting pitcher to put at the top of the rotation behind Dallas Keuchel.

Gray, 27, was limited to 22 starts in the 2016 season due to a forearm issue. His stats left a lot to be desired, as he finished with a 5-11 record, a 5.69 ERA, and a 94/42 K/BB ratio over 117 innings. Considering how Gray pitched in the previous three years, he’s a good bet to bounce back.

Gray is under team control through 2019, which is a big draw for the Astros. Needless to say, the Athletics would want a haul in terms of prospects. Gray will earn $3.575 million in 2017, having avoided arbitration in his first year of eligibility.

President Obama Welcomes the Cubs to the White House

31 Comments

As we noted last week, The Chicago Cubs took the unusual step of not waiting until the summer after winning the World Series to make their customary White House visit to meet the president. They did it today, seeing President Obama a few short days before he leaves office.

Despite the fact that Obama is a White Sox fan, he met the Cubs with diplomacy and grace. It’s almost as if he’s been in that business for the past eight years. In return, he was given some gifts by the Cubs: Theo Epstein presented Obama with a No. 44 Cubs jersey, a tile from the center field scoreboard at Wrigley Field, and a lifetime pass to Wrigley as well.

Obama is staying in D.C. after he leaves office this week, hanging around so his daughter can finish high school in the same place she started. Even so, he’s likely going to be back to Chicago a good bit over the rest of his life, so he’ll likely be able to put the free pass to work. Assuming it comes with, like, six companion passes for his Secret Service detail.