After missing the first six weeks of the season with a hamstring injury Chien-Ming Wang will come off the disabled list tonight, according to Mark Zuckerman of CSNWashington.com.
Wang volunteered for relief duty if the Nationals felt he was a better fit there and indeed they’ve opted to stick with Ross Detwiler as their fifth starter. Wang has never been a full-time reliever, making just five of his 120 career appearances out of the bullpen, and he seems likely to be used in low-leverage situations.
To make room on the roster and in the bullpen for Wang the Nationals will place reliever Ryan Mattheus on the DL with plantar fasciitis in his left foot, which has apparently been bothering him for weeks despite a 2.25 ERA in 20 innings this season.
Mattheus told Zuckerman that he’s hoping to return after the minimum 15-day DL stint and by then the Nationals should have a much clearer idea of whether Wang can contribute as a reliever.
Sure, spring training games don’t count toward anything “real,” but that doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy Angels’ star pitcher/hitter Shohei Ohtani mowing down his first big league competitors.
On Saturday, Ohtani took the mound against the Brewers for his first official outing in an Angels uniform. After allowing a leadoff double to Jonathan Villar, the 23-year-old righty settled down and issued a three-pitch strikeout to Nate Orf, his first of the spring.
It wasn’t the cleanest inning for the right-hander: the Brewers plated their first run on a walk, wild pitch and subsequent throwing error by catcher Martin Maldonado. Ohtani didn’t let things unravel further, however, and induced a pop-up for the second out before catching Brett Phillips looking on a called strike three to end the inning.
While the two-way phenom only lasted another two batters (a Keon Broxton dinger finished him off in the second), he’s already started to look like a formidable presence on the mound. Time will tell whether he can deliver at the plate as well — rumor has it he could feature in the Angels’ lineup as soon as Monday.