Nationals manger Davey Johnson did not hold back Wednesday when describing the severity of starter Chien-Ming Wang’s strained left hamstring (via CSNWashington.com’s Nats Insider):
“He’s moving around walking good, but from what I saw today, he’s got quite a bit of blood in there,” Johnson said. “Before he gets on the mound, I’d say three weeks, maybe a month. I’ll have to double-check with the doctor, but I just saw a lot of blood in there.”
Wang is going to play catch on Thursday, but Johnson is suggesting in the quote above that the Taiwanese right-hander won’t be allowed to get back on a mound before the Nats head north for the start of the regular season. Which means Wang is certain to miss his first couple turns in the rotation, and possibly all of April.
John Lannan, who has been on the trading block for most of this spring, appears likely to open the regular season as Washington’s No. 5 starter. He had a 3.70 ERA and 1.46 WHIP in 184 2/3 innings last year.
The Rangers got a bit of a breather on Saturday after clinching the division lead during Friday night’s win. Naturally, it was also a prime opportunity for another of Adrian Beltre‘s well-documented antics, as he spent his off day directing the Rangers’ infield defense with a series of signs. Even with Carlos Beltran‘s help, no one, least of all those playing the infield, appeared to have any idea what Beltre’s gestures were intended to convey.
You can add this to the list of in-game oddities Beltre has become so well-known for over the years, running the gamut from the way he kicked a ball over the foul line to his histrionics every time someone comes close to touching his head. If nothing else, it’s a convincing audition reel for the third baseman’s future in major league coaching — a career path that, I’d imagine, would end up looking something like this:
Royals’ right-hander Yordano Ventura was pulled in the fifth inning of Saturday’s matinee against the Tigers with an apparent injury. After throwing four pitches to start the fifth and serving up a Justin Upton double, Ventura was visited on the mound by head trainer Nick Kenney. Per Rustin Dodd of the Kansas City Star, he’s day-to-day with back spasms and lower back tightness.
It’s just another bump in the road for the defending champions, who currently sit 6.5 games back of a postseason spot with seven left to play. Through 176 innings in 2016, Ventura posted a 4.35 ERA and 1.2 fWAR, a considerable downgrade from the 4.08 ERA and 2.7 fWAR he contributed during last season’s championship year despite a moderate bounce-back in the second half.
Prior to his early exit from Saturday’s game, Ventura went four innings for the Royals, giving up three runs on 10 hits and two walks and striking out six of 24 batters faced.